Accessing Credit Reports for Foster Youth

A Reference Guide for Child Welfare Agencies

By Credit Builders Alliance

January 11, 2013

Summary

Thousands of young people age out of foster care with no one to help them navigate adulthood. This transition can be complicated when they find they have no or poor credit when they apply for a job, apartment or cell phone. To help, Congress enacted a law mandating that each child receive a copy of their credit report and help interpreting it before they age out of the system. This reference guide provides child welfare agencies with basic information about the platforms and services the three major credit reporting agencies — TransUnion, Experian, and Equifax — offer to help case workers meet the federal requirements. It includes a quick reference on definitions and acronyms and a list of financial education resources for youth.

Table of Contents

Key Takeaway

Credit help for foster youth can depend on state and county processes

Pulling a credit report for a youth in foster care is only the first step in fulfilling the federal mandate. The legislation also requires that youth be assisted in interpreting their reports and resolving any inaccuracies. Since each child welfare agency and the youth it serves are unique, what may work for one state or county may not be the best approach for another.

Findings & Stats

Statements & Quotations