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The Resource Center Identity Theft & Protection | article

Identity Theft from Family Members Prevents Deserving Student from Going to College

Getting a child into college is a great source of pride for many families, as it means a brighter future for a child that has worked hard to achieve academic success. Parents can support their children by encouraging them to study hard and get good grades, even when they can't necessarily support their kids financially. For potential college students in this situation, there are loans available that will finance their college education, allowing them to return the favor with payments after they graduate.

When a child should be celebrating acceptance into college, they may actually face a disappointing truth
For some kids, using student loans to pay for college isn't an option, as lenders deny them based upon a poor credit history. However, many of these children had never even applied for any kind of loan in the past, let alone even opened up an account in their own name, despite their credit reports saying otherwise.

The family was in need, so they used a child's identity to create new debt
For Cody Zulfer, an 18-year-old Florida resident, he was denied because he had become the victim of identity theft. His theft wasn't committed by a shady criminal or a commuter hacker, but by members of his own family.

When Cody was younger, his mother had fallen on hard times, and used his Social Security number to purchase a new family apartment. With his credit report being a clean slate essentially, she had allowed other family members to use Cody's information to open up accounts and apply for new loans.

Potential student traded college education for credit reconciliation
Having been accepted to college, Cody applied for a loan through the state. However, because his family members had not been responsible using his information, debts accumulated under Cory's name that ruined his credit score. This led to the state denying Cody the loan he needed.

Although his family wasn't able to provide the financial support he needed to go to college, they did him an even greater disservice by preventing him from taking out a loan of his own. Instead of getting the education he deserves, Cody had to fight to clean up his credit so it wouldn't prevent him from other opportunities in the future.