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.