What is a Credit Privacy Number?

What is a Credit Privacy Number?

Ever heard of a Credit Privacy Number (CPN)? It is a nine-digit identification number that looks like a social security number (SSN) and may be used instead of a SSN, for certain purposes.

Consumers are often required to disclose their SSN to the IRS, employers, the DMV, when buying a gun, or applying for a federally insured loan. In certain circumstances, federal law allows consumers to legally use a separate identification number. CPNs are commonly used by celebrities, members of Congress, and witnesses in a federal protection program.

However, CPNs can be misused. Shady credit repair companies advertise the consumers can build a new credit profile to hide their bad credit history. They advertise they will give consumers a CPN to use instead of their SSN. A dishonest person may use a CPN to obtain credit he could not otherwise obtain.

Some credit repair companies tell buyers of CPNs to provide false information when using the number to apply for credit. They are told to use their real name and date of birth, but to avoid listing their current address, phone number, or any other personal information that may connect the new phony credit profile with their old credit record..

Once a CPN is validated that it does not belong to anyone with a credit profile, the credit reporting agencies may create a new credit file thus allowing the individual to apply for credit.

For more information on CPNs, go to Freddie Mac’s article.

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