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Could my ex-wife have used our daughter's SSN to get credit?

Established Contributor

Could my ex-wife have used our daughter's SSN to get credit?

My ex-wife has never had a credit card in her life.  She also rarely ever has a job and has tens of thousands of dollars in upaid delinquent debt.  However, I recently started receiving numerous credit card offers in her name at my address.  She has never lived at that address and I have never before gotten any mail for her there until all these credit card offers started coming.  This all started not too long after she said she needed our daughter's social security number for some kind of state assistance she was applying for.


I know that there was an instance with one of her other kids that she had before I got mixed up with her where she used that daughter's name and SSN to get cable connected at her apartment and got caught later on.  However, in that case, she used the daughter's name and SSN whereas this time all the credit card offers have been coming in her own name.  Is it possible that she could have applied for something using my daughter's SSN and my address while still using her own name?  Wouldn't there automatically be a "red flag" that the name and SSN did not match?  Our daughter is only 9 years old, FWIW.  How could I find out if she did this?  I doubt my 9 year old daughter will have a credit report that I could pull?  Or, would she have a report if my ex-wife was, in fact, applying for things with her SSN?

Message 1 of 4
Moderator Emeritus

Re: Could my ex-wife have used our daughter's SSN to get credit?

While ID theft happens all the time within families, I wouldn't jump to that conclusion just yet. There could be many other sources for the address mix up. Creditors-to-be will often buy lists without cross-checking credit first. I remember with scores in the low 500s, Amex and Discover were sending me letters of credit, and stopped after I applied. There was a misprint in my name among each of these creditors and they kept selling the list to each other without knowing my credit status. Same can be happening to your Ex. Creditors can be buying and selling her info over and over.


The address can be a red flag in anyone's mind. But somewhere somehow her name ended up associated with yours. It's public info if divorced and that can easily be a source. After DW and I bought our home, her father's name appeared within the mailing address for some reason. He never lived with us but somewhere something got mixed up and now he receives bank offers all the time at our address. In our case, DW and her father once shared a checking. That account was closed before we moved, but maybe there was a marketing letter at some point in time that got forwarded to the new address and that's how it probably started. There could be other non-credit sources that could have caused that too.


I don't know the answer on checking your daughter's credit. I'd call the CRAs to see if it is possible. Assuming worst-case, it won't impact your daughter at all because it'll be past the 7 years before she turns 18 anyway. But I wouldn't assume this right away. Now if you started getting collection notices....

Message 2 of 4
Community Leader
Legendary Contributor

Re: Could my ex-wife have used our daughter's SSN to get credit?

If credit were opened using both her SSN and name and the accounts were reported to a CRA, she would have a credit file.

As the parent, you have authority to pull her CR, if one exists. 

I would  go to and attempt to order a copy of her CR, and see what happens.

If accounts were opened with her SSN but not under her name, then you would have a problem when attempting to order a CR, but its at least you could determine if reported accounts exist in her name and SSN.


If she does have unauthorized accounts opened in her name, expiration of any CR exclusion period at, for example, more than 7 years into the future does not remove any such information from her credit file.  It merely precludes the CRA from including such adverse information in any normal CR they issue after that date.  However, none of the CR exclusion periods under section 605(a) are absolute, in that normally excluded information can still be obtained under the exclusions set forth in section 605(b), such as when a creditor is considering an app for credit at or above $150K.  The simple fact is that CR exclusion does not = credit file deletion.  And no telling what future derogs may be added.


It could still be a future problem worth investigating, but I too would be hesitant to raise identity theft assertions without clear evidence.

Message 3 of 4
Established Contributor

Re: Could my ex-wife have used our daughter's SSN to get credit?

i have been divorced for 6 years. Whilst going through this rebuilding process I found to my surprise that one of the addresses on my file was an address of my ex-husbands post divorce that we never shared.  I never lived there. Also to this day he will still get credit card offers here, and he has never lived at this address.  The CRAs update their info based on sources other than what is provided directly by the consumer. And they get obvious erroneous information and don't cross check.


so it could be that. 

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