Dear Kim, What Is A Cpn Number And Are They Legal?


Dear Kim, What is a CPN number and are they legal?

Rebuilding your credit can take time and patience.  A CPN number is only useful in very particular circumstances

Dear Kim,

Unfortunately, a few years ago I suffered a significant loss of income.  As a result, I lost my home to foreclosure and I had to file bankruptcy.  I am finally in a financial situation in which I can begin rebuilding my credit.  A friend of mine suggested obtaining a CPN number, because my past credit issues will not be visible.  What is a CPN  number and are they legal?

Thank you,



What is a CPN number?

A CPN number is known as a credit profile number, credit privacy number, and even a secondary credit number (SCN).  It can be used for obtaining credit, and is used in lieu of a social security number in very particular situations.  The CPN number keeps certain personal information private, so it is commonly used by celebrities, government officials and high- level executives.  An individual can be issued only one CPN number over a lifetime and the process is typically handled with the assistance of a legal professional.

The CPN is not a substitution for a social security number. It creates a profile upon which to build credit, however, it is still a part of your underlying credit profile and will in no way eliminate any previous credit history. All debts you incur, past and future, remain your responsibility.

Are CPN Numbers Legal?

The use of a CPN number with the sole purpose of hiding your credit profile could be construed as fraud, and therefore could be considered illegal.  A number of credit repair agencies have sprung up over the last few years offering a CPN number for a fee.  The CPN numbers they provide are often not legitimate.  The numbers are typically random 9-digit numbers or social security numbers of children or deceased individuals. Using a stolen social security number is a crime.

For people who would benefit from a CPN, they are free and provided by the Social Security Administration Office.  You cannot buy a legal CPN on the internet to fix your credit rating. This is a scam! Do not trust any websites or companies that claim they can give you a CPN for a credit reset.

If you really need a CPN, it will be free. The process will go through the Social Security Administration Office, since your Social Security Number will be tied to your new CPN.

Learn more here from the Federal Trade Commission

What to do instead: Rebuild your credit

A bad credit score is not a reason to get a CPN.  Rebuilding your credit can take time and patience.  I would recommend speaking with one of our certified credit counselors at 1-800-992-4557 to give you the guidance that you need to begin this journey. Have faith and with perseverance, you will improve your credit score!

Good luck,


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Kim Cole is the Education Outreach Coordinator for Navicore Solutions. Kim provides financial education workshops and seminars to communities. Readers can submit general questions relating to personal finance, credit scoring, debt management, student loans, home finance or bankruptcy which may be highlighted in the next month's edition. All identifying information will be kept anonymous.

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