What Is a Credit Privacy Number
Tanya January 24, 2024

What Is a Credit Privacy Number (CPN): A Beginner’s Guide

A Credit Privacy Number (CPN) is a nine-digit illegal alternative to a Social Security Number (SSN). It is usually claimed to be a substitute for an SSN, and people use it to hide their credit history. However, a CPN is neither similar to an SSN nor a quick fix for individuals with bad credit standing. 

What Is a CPN Used for and How Does It Work?

A CPN is used as an illicit substitute for an SSN, particularly in situations where an individual possesses a poor credit score, hindering them from obtaining a credit card or a car loan.

Truth is: Certain credit repair firms pledge quick resolutions to credit problems. To fulfill these assurances, they are likely to provide someone else's SSN as if it were yours. Therefore, considering the use of a CPN number to hide your troubled credit history is not a wise choice. It's morally wrong and illegal.

No, CPNs are not legal because they operate in a questionable legal space. Despite sellers saying they can help rebuild credit, there's no such thing as a "legal CPN." Usually, companies that sell CPNs claim they are an alternative to SSNs. Many companies sell stolen SSNs as new CPNs. They obtain SSNs from children, prison inmates, or senior citizens.

Another sign to figure out whether a CPN is illegal or not is the cost point. Getting a Social Security Number (SSN) is free, but some companies may ask you to pay money to get a CPN number. When you fill out the application form, they may ask you to provide false information, such as the wrong email address, phone number, and address. This way, they direct you to create a false identity.

How to Obtain a New SSN? 

You can get a new SSN provided you meet the following criteria: 

  • Members of the same family are facing issues with given sequential Social Security numbers. 
  • If more than one person ends up having the same Social Security number.
  • A person who had their Social Security number stolen is still dealing with ongoing troubles.
  • Someone is being abused or harassed.
  • Personal or religious reasons to avoid certain numbers in your original Social Security number.

How Are CPNs Different From ITINs and Social Security Numbers?

ITINs and SSNs are legitimate numbers issued by government authorities. In contrast, a CPN is an illicit alternative used by companies for credit repair, which, in reality, involves identity theft.

The Social Security Administration issues SSNs. Primarily, it is for U.S. citizens and certain residents. 

The IRS issues ITINs in special cases for certain non-resident and resident aliens, along with their spouses and dependents. ITINs help these individuals fulfill tax obligations when they can't obtain an SSN.

Some Major Differences Between CPNs, ITINs, and SSNs

An ITIN looks similar to an SSN, with nine digits and dashes. Anyhow, the major difference is that every ITIN starts with the number nine. CPNs also have nine-digit numbers. Despite being visually similar to SSNs and ITINs, CPN has dashes between them at specific intervals.

Moreover, Social Security Numbers (SSNs) and Individual Taxpayer Identification Numbers (ITINs) are official numbers provided by the government for specific purposes. On the contrary, Credit Privacy Numbers (CPNs) are not legitimate. 

They are sold by questionable companies claiming to offer a helpful product. In reality, using CPNs may make you unwittingly involved in identity theft. Therefore, it is recommended to stick to the government-issued numbers for your official and secure identification.

The Right Ways to Rebuild Credit

1. Be Wary of Identity Theft

Although CPN is an inappropriate option to repair credit history, there are many other ways, such as:

  • Avoid giving out your SSN or personal information if someone calls or emails requesting it.
  • Consult a credit or identity theft monitoring service to keep a check on your credit.

2. Boost Your Credit Score

You can’t improve your credit history all of a sudden. The simplest thing to do is to spend money to rebuild your credit history.

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Here’s what you can do:

Pay Your Bills on Time: On-time payments are crucial to building a good credit score. You can contact the creditor to see if they can change your due date for payment. Consequently, it will help you pay your bills.

Apply for Credit When You Really Need It: At the moment, your credit score is determined, and your recent credit activity is checked. If you consistently apply for a credit card, it will inevitably reflect your poor financial position. At the moment you decide to rebuild your credit, it is better to hold off on the idea of opening a new account.

Spend Less Than Your Credit Limit Allows: To ensure your credit scores stay healthy, limit your credit card spending to no more than 30% of your total available credit. Especially for the best scores, strive to keep your usage in the single digits.

Consider Getting Advice From a Credit Counselor: For fear of a downfall in credit score, anyone would consider quick options to repair it. Under those circumstances, get help from a credit counselor for ideal solutions.

Check Your Credit Reports: Monitor your credit report often to spot errors. In case you spot any mistakes, you can report them and get them corrected.  Errors on your credit report significantly lower your credit score. But, with the help of an AI-assisted Credit Repair App like CoolCredit, you can easily rebuild credit. Through this App, you can check your credit reports from all three bureaus, find mistakes, and create dispute letters with supporting evidence. 


Building credit can be challenging. So, beware of companies leading you astray with CPNs, as it can easily lead to legal ramifications. Also, make sure to not get involved with companies that can easily misguide you into using CPN. 

To repair your credit wisely, seek options that can actually help you. For instance, AI Credit Repair App like CoolCredit. This app is an effective, AI-assisted solution to help you make the most of your financial goals. It will not only help you fetch reports form the bureaus but also assist you with the right knowledge. 


Q: Can a CPN Replace an SSN When Applying for Credit?

A: No, it cannot because a CPN using a CPN is illegal. This number, somewhat similar to an SSN is often marketed as a fix for poor credit, however, using CPNs on credit applications or official documents is illegal.

Q: Why Is CPN a scam?

A: CPN is a scam as it is created by companies using stolen SSNs, often taken from children, inmates, or senior citizens. They falsely promise high credit scores (700-800). During the application, they may urge you to supply incorrect details like email, phone, and address, leading you to establish a fake identity. 

Q: Can You Get a New SSN?

A: You can generate a new SSN under these circumstances:

  • Families facing problems due to receiving consecutive Social Security numbers.
  • Instances where multiple individuals share identical Social Security numbers.
  • When someone’s Social Security number is stolen.
  • Abuse of Social Security numbers.
  • When someone asks to change their SSN dues to personal or religious beliefs.

Q: What Happens If You Get Caught Using CPN?

A: Using a CPN might seem like a workaround, but it's illegal. You can get involved in identity theft and it is a serious federal offense. If caught, you could be fined heavily or even face jail time. It can affect your credit score as well. Lenders might see using a CPN as a sign of possible identity theft or fraud. 

Q: Can CPN Be Traced?

A: Using a CPN instead of your SSN creates a record of fraud that may be traced back to you. As banks and the government crack down on fraud, the risks and consequences are more severe. 

Q: Should One Get a CPN Number If They Have Bad Credit?

A: No, because using a CPN is illegal and often linked to scams, and your credit reports will still show any debts and bankruptcies. Stay cautious and avoid falling for false promises.

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