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What is CPN?

If you or someone you know has bad credit, you’ve most likely already heard of a credit privacy number or CPN. But, what is a CPN number, exactly?

A CPN is often marketed as a fresh start to circumvent the negative consequences of a low credit score. It promises that you can still apply for a loan or credit card despite having a poor financial history.

That sounds too good to be true, right? That’s because it is!

In this article, we’ll look at what a CPN is, how it works, and why you should avoid it at all costs.


What is a CPN?

A CPN, or credit privacy number, is a nine-digit number that can be used in place of your Social Security Number when applying for loans or credit cards. While it is possible to legally apply for a new CPN with the Social Security Administration Office (SSA), you need a very good reason to be approved, and a bad credit score isn’t one of them. If you were to get a new CPN, it would still be tied to your old SSN.

CPNs are commonly marketed by companies as a fresh new number to hide a bad credit score from banks or financial institutions. CPNs are not a viable long-term solution for repairing bad credit and in fact, acquiring one from anywhere other than the SSA is not even legal. CPNs being sold are dormant Social Security Numbers stolen from people who don’t use them, such as children or inmates. Meaning, you’re using the SSN of another person and not a new CPN assigned to you.

Others might also refer to a CPN as a credit protection number or consumer profile number. So if you’re offered these, know that they’re all the same thing.


Should I Buy a CPN Number?

The answer is a big no.

There is absolutely no good, legal reason for you to buy a CPN number. Period.

First, neither federal nor state governments recognize or identify a CPN, meaning they are illegal when used to complete a credit application.

By using a CPN in place of an SSN in your credit or loan application, you’re committing two federal crimes. One is giving false information on your application. The other is misrepresenting your SSN. Both will land you in jail.

On top of that, CPNs don’t work as intended. That’s because your SSN isn’t the only identification that connects you to your credit history. There’s also your legal name, addresses, and a host of other publicly available information. Even if you think you’ve done an excellent job of hiding these, creditors will catch on sooner or later.

Lastly, buying a CPN isn’t cheap—it can cost you hundreds, even thousands of dollars. Paying that much money for something that is illegal, and doesn’t work, is overall a bad investment.


How to Avoid a CPN Scam

It can be easy to avoid a CPN scam as long as you’re aware of the signs. As previously stated, any company trying to market you a CPN number should be viewed as a red flag. Along with any guarantees of credit card approval with a new CPN.

In addition, any offers on “CPN loans” should be avoided.


Credit Privacy Number Alternatives

The sad truth is that there’s no magic, overnight solution that fixes bad credit. Nor can you hide it from banks or creditors.

The good news is that you can recover from your financial situation, poor credit doesn’t have to stay that way. It just takes time, effort, and discipline to turn it around.

Effectively managing your debt is a vital aspect of maintaining your credit. If you have large amounts of debt that you can’t handle at the moment, take a look at our debt relief page to explore some options.  Additionally, you can fill out our online debt consultation form, and a member from our team will be in touch to walk you through our debt-relief program and what it could look like for you.