In order to safely obtain a CPN, it is essential to receive legal guidance from a lawyer, according to Nerd Wallet. The CPN itself is free, but the legal services are not. There is a large risk of CPN fraud if not obtained through the proper legal and bureaucratic channels.
The CPN, or credit privacy number, is a nine-digit number assigned as a way to replace a Social Security number, explains Freddie Mac. This allows for security in financial, legal and other transactions, explains Nerd Wallet. Like a Social Security number, any debts which are incurred under a CPN are the responsibility of the CPN holder.
The CPN is able to replace the Social Security number in most financial transactions, but there are several specific situations in which the official Social Security number is required, according to Nerd Wallet. These include IRS submissions, federal government documentation, vehicle registration and federal loans.
Fraud is prevalent when applying for a CPN, which is why Nerd Wallet recommends legal counsel. In many cases, a company offers a CPN for a high fee, even though the actual number generation is free. Additionally, some companies sell illegally obtained Social Security numbers as credit privacy numbers, causing problems for the original and new holder alike.