Unfortunately, many young Americans check their credit reports for the first time and find the unfortunate surprise of a negative account. Some credit reporting agencies store collection accounts behind the scenes on a consumer’s credit profile and then make them available for public viewing on that consumer’s eighteenth birthday. 

These accounts typically come from unpaid medical bills that should have been billed to that person’s parent or legal guardian. In other cases, the consumer may have lived at an apartment complex and an unscrupulous landlord may have sent their information to a collection company even though they never signed the lease because they were a minor. Unfortunately, underage debt reporting errors seem to be most common on credit reports from two of the largest credit bureaus, Experian and TransUnion. 

If you have an inaccurate underage debt appearing on your credit report, you may be entitled to compensation from the entities reporting the inaccurate debt, pursuant to the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA). Schedule a free case evaluation with an experienced credit reporting attorney from Raburn Kaufman to discuss your options. 

What Is Underage Debt?

In the United States, consumers must be 18 before qualifying for a credit card in most cases. Moreover, minors aren’t legally allowed to participate in certain types of contracts in most states. The rationale? The law doesn’t regard minors as capable of weighing the consequences of such vital decisions. Still, young consumers often find inaccurate underage debts when checking their credit reports. 

Common Causes of Inaccurate Underage Debt Credit Reporting Errors

Are credit card companies or debt collectors contacting you about a debt you supposedly incurred before you turned 18? Did you find an account on your credit report that dates back to before you were a legal adult? Check to see if one of the following scenarios applies to you.

It Could Be a Case of Identity Theft

Credit card scams and identity theft have continued to increase, year after year, especially in the United States. In 2019, there were 650,572 identity theft cases in America, a substantial increase from the previous year. As in identity theft cases, a fraudster, or even a family member, could use a minor’s social security number to obtain credit. If you suspect this has happened to you, an experienced Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) attorney can help you navigate this situation.

Credit Reporting Agency or Other Errors

Sometimes you may be an innocent victim of an administrative mistake. For instance, you could have inaccuracies appearing on your credit report due to file mixing. File mixing often occurs among people with similar demographic or personal identification information. If you were an authorized user on a parent’s account and their credit file was mixed with that of another person with, your file could also be affected by the file mixing. As mentioned earlier, children sometimes end up with their mom or dad’s medical bills on their credit reports. 

Can Underage Debt Affect Your Credit Score?

Yes. Although there are exceptions, as a general rule, any debt appearing on your credit report could affect your credit score. If you suspect your situation involves identity theft, it is important to contact a law firm such as Raburn Kaufman that focuses its practice on cases where identity theft has led to inaccurate credit reporting. 

Thieves can steal your identity and take out credit cards in your name before you can even drive, and unfortunately, this happens all the time. Dealing with identity theft leading to inaccurate underage debt reporting errors can be incredibly stressful and frustrating. At Raburn Kaufman, our experienced attorneys are well-versed in credit reporting litigation and are prepared to fight to protect your rights and ensure you get the resolution you deserve in court.

Contact an Experienced Underage Debt Attorney to Discuss Your Options

If you believe an inaccurate underage debt is being reported on your credit report, enlist the help of an experienced consumer attorney for help. At Raburn Kaufman, our attorneys have a combined 24+ years of experience in guiding consumers like you through frustrating situations like inaccurate credit reporting. If you believe a credit reporting agency or other entity is inaccurately reporting an underage debt on your credit report, you may be entitled to financial compensation pursuant to the Fair Credit Reporting Act. Contact Raburn Kaufman today for a free consultation with one of our attorneys at 877-662-2455 or email us at info@raburnkaufman.com. If we don’t win, you don’t pay!

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