What is your CPN Number?
The Credit Privacy Number, or CPN, is a nine digit identification number that can be used to report financial information to credit bureaus. Available for use primarily in the United States, the number can be used instead of an individual’s Social Security number for many types of credit transactions. However, the CPN should not be viewed as an equitable substitute for the Social Security number in all situations.
Also known as a credit profile number, the CPN has its main advantage when it comes to tracking credit transactions and evaluating credit history. Rather than using a Social Security number for all credit transactions, using a credit privacy number makes it easier to segregate finances in the event of identity theft. Without access to a Social Security number, the thief is somewhat limited in the amount of difficulties that are created for the rightful owner of the number. This is because there are several types of financial transactions that cannot be conducted using this number.
Transactions that cannot be conducted using a CPN include information given to an employer, documents submitted to the Internal Revenue Service, and registering a car or truck. The number also cannot be used when applying for one of the several government sponsored home loan options, such as Sallie Mae or a FHA loan. However, a legal CPN can be used when applying for credit cards and obtaining financing that is not government related.
One of the urban myths surrounding the use of a CPN is that the credit file number can be used to avoid paying outstanding debt. In fact, the individual remains liable for all debts incurred on credit accounts referencing a Social Security number or a CPN. Obtaining this number will not result in establishing new credit to replace bad credit generated under a Social Security number.
One truth about CPN usage is that there are many citizens of the United States that routinely use this type of identification number. Celebrities often use one as a means of protecting their privacy when it comes to credit cards, loans, and other financial transactions. Members of Congress are also likely to use it in order to minimize the chances of private details about their finances being released to the general public without their authorization. People placed within a witness protection program are often issued a CPN, as it is much harder to track than a Social Security number.
Any citizen of the United States can request and obtain one of these numbers. However, it is only possible to receive one CPN. Certain resident aliens, spouses, or dependents can also apply for one if they have an Individual Taxpayer Identification Number (ITIN). The number remains constant from the date of issue and is connected with the owner of the number for the remainder of his or her life. As with a Social Security number, the owner is responsible for using the CPN with prudence. This means knowing what type of transactions require use of a Social Security number and which transactions may be conducted using a CPN.
In the event of a bankruptcy, any outstanding debts listed under an issued CPN number and the individual’s Social Security number must be declared in order to be included in the debt relief.
Presently, federal law allows the ability for someone to legally use a Credit Privacy Number instead of a Social Security Number. Title 5, Section 7 of Publication Law 93-579 of Government Organization and Employees Act states:
(a) (1) It shall be unlawful for any Federal, State or Local Government Agency to deny any individual any right, benefit, or privilege provided by law because of such individual’s refusal to disclose his or hers Social Security Account Number. What this means is Federal Law protects those who do not wish to disclose their personal information (SS#) except where required to do so. Disclosure of your social
security number is only required when dealing with the IRS, your employer, or when applying for a federally insured mortgage.
Do you really understand how your social security number is used? The social security administration was created during the great depression. The Federal Government’s intention was to allow Americans to save for our retirement so that we may live in our senior years. Like it or not that was the plan. Over the years, the “social security” number, which was intended to identify your retirement accounts, has become a tool for the government and other private organizations to track us in numerous ways. Although, that was not the original intent of a “Social Security Number”, it has become an easy way for different organizations to identify us. For example, you are often asked for your SS # for a new bank account, credit union, or when applying for a drivers license. So why do these organizations insist on requiring your social security number to identify you? Because we allow them to!
The sole purpose of your social security number is for tax and social security use ONLY. The law states that No federal, state, or local government agency may deny you any right, privilege or benefit due to your refusal to provide your SS # for any other reason than producing money for retirement account with the Social Security Administration, the IRS and your employer.
In our country’s present credit reporting system a person may be assumed guilty and then must expend a great deal of time and resources to prove his or her innocence. Additionally, once a negative item is in a credit file it may remain long past the 7 year time period most people believe is used. Additionally, a misreported item can show up in a credit report multiple times. When it comes to credit, banking and loans, there are two things you must know.
1. The first relates to the law pertaining to the usage of your social security number as an identification tool.
2. The second, credit bureaus are private companies and are not affiliated with the government in any way, whatsoever….. Although the credit bureaus would like you to think otherwise.
Some private organizations use Social Security numbers for record keeping purposes. Such use is neither required nor prohibited by Federal Law. So you just do not use your SSN. The use of a person’s social security number by such an organization is for its own internal records and they are purely a private matter between the organization and the person. Any Federal, State, or local government agency that asks for your number must tell you whether giving it is mandatory or voluntary, tell you it’s authority for requesting the number, and tell you how the number will be used. What does this mean?
The present law does not REQUIRE you to furnish your SS# to private organizations. Credit bureaus are private businesses; therefore you DO NOT have to provide them with your social security number. They can only REQUEST your social security number if it is mandatory and even then you can fight this issue.