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Erroneous Information On Your Credit Report

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I recently pulled my credit report from TransUnion and discovered that there was some erroneous information negatively impacting my report. It turns out that I was 90-days late on a utilities payment to UGI, a utility company I have never even heard of. Digging a little deeper into my report, I saw that they had an alternate social security number that one digit off and an address in Pennsylvania that I had never even heard of… let alone once lived at. A quick phone call to TransUnion (and the two other bureaus) led to an investigation and a quick resolution in my favor.

One thing I was surprised to see was that they listed “alternate social security numbers,” one of which was wrong, and when I asked the CSR about why they even accept a report with an erroneous SSN, she explained that they will accept it if it has no negative impact because sometimes they get typos. This is clearly a loophole or error that should be investigated… if someone doesn’t even have the right social in their report to the bureau then the bureau should reject it and request that the originator fix it! In my particular case, they accepted the wrong social and pegged a utility bill to my name.

Hopefully this wasn’t a case of identity theft and I’ll definitely have to keep an eye out for this but it illustrates how important it is to keep on top of your credit history. The only major effect it had, which I didn’t know at the time, was that it made it a little harder to get that 0% financing deal for the windows I purchased from Castle; I wish I had checked a month ago to find out why it was “harder” but depending on when UGI reported (some credit card companies don’t report until it’s 60 days late) the late payment, I may have completely missed it.

If you haven’t checked your report this year, you have absolutely no excuse not to go to the government’s annual credit report website and request at least one report (I like to stagger them out so I can get it three times a year) right this very second. You should never have to pay for you credit report and going through the government’s website is the best way to ensure you get your free copy.

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7 Responses to “Erroneous Information On Your Credit Report”

  1. eROCK says:

    Jim, excellent post! Every time I’ve tried through Equifax or an alternative, it seems like I can’t do it without my credit card, so this was great. I actually found a few accounts I totally forgot I had!

    On another note, it’s unfortunate we’re not entitled to a free report of our FICO score.

  2. Matt says:

    I agree great post, thanks for the reminder about checking your credit report. I’ve been meaning to do this for a while and it just left my mind. I should see about getting a copy of mine pronto.

  3. Hey, great post.

    Just another thought that I had. If you don’t have a credit monitoring service (haven’t made up my mind one way or the other) it is sometimes a good plan to just use your free credit reports from 1 of the 3 bureas every 4 months. This way, you can rotate burueas and not have to just get all of the information from the 3 bureaus at one point in time.

    Thanks!

    -William
    A Financial Revolution

  4. wanzman says:

    Matt – If you go to FICO.com, you can sign up for a free 30 day trial and then you are able to view your FICO score, and it also explains what factors are affecting your score, and what you might do to raise your score. Just be sure to call and cancel the trial before the 30 days is up, otherwise the score-watch service costs 90 bucks a year.

  5. dePriest says:

    I want to add that people may prefer to call the number for their free credit reports (877-322-8228). I couldn’t get mine online last year because I had paid for them the year before, and the agencies (none of them) would let me change my long-forgotten passwords to access my reports. Sure, they’re instantly available to when you order online, but it only takes 15 days or less to get them via postal mail. I, too, order one every four months from a different agency to spread them out and keep an eye out for suspicious notations on my reports. eRock, I have a credit card that puts my FICO score on their website so I can access it any time. It really came in handy when we went to get a mortgage loan, as we knew what to expect. Maybe your credit card companies (if you have cards) make this option available online. Mine is free of charge (yay! something worth having, for free).

  6. Lua says:

    I had a problem with my credit report too. One was that there was a credit card which I never received and the other was an ‘overdue’ loan payment. When I called the bank they said the payment was considered late because I refinanced the loan and they reset the loan as a new one. So now the credit bureaus show that I have two loans, or really the same loan twice, at that bank. When I started to pay on the refinanced amount it shows up as the original loan being two months late. I had a horrible time getting the bank to fix it because they were saying the loan is not late on the phone, but it was showing up on Experian as late. I got it fixed but it was just a good thing I caught that in time and fixed it before it lowered my credit score.

  7. Gus says:

    Good luck getting wrong information off your credit report. I am the victim of identify theft. Years ago I was alerted by the IRS and Social Security Administration that someone else was using my social security number. The person obtained credit using my social security number, his name was the same as mine except his middle initial was different. You would think with that kind of proof I could get erroneous information removed – wrong. To date I cannot get anything removed. I have called, I have written letters, I have gone online – nothing. The credit reporting agencies do not care and it is likely you will not get them to help even if you have proof like I do.


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