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Investigating A Error On My Equifax Credit Report

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When the Federal Reserve lowered the target federal funds rate last week, lots of people started inquiring about refinancing options to see if they could get a better loan. I was among the crowd. I requested refinancing information through LendingTree and fielded a few offers before deciding that refinancing was not a viable option for me at the moment. One of the lenders pulled my credit and Equifax was obligated to tell me about it.

I learned that my score was a 643, not surprising that it’s not an awesome score because I recently closed out some balance transfer arbitrages, but the listing of items that adversely affected my score did concern me:

  1. 78 – Serious delinqncy, derog, public recd or collection with balance
  2. 58 – Insufficient length or lack of credit history
  3. L – Length of time since legal item filed or collection item reported
  4. F – Prop. of bal. to high cr. on bk rvlvng or all rvlvng accts
  5. Y – Inquiries impacted the score but not significantly

Items 2 isn’t much of a concern overall and items 4 and 5 are certainly related to my balance transfer arbitrage days, but what about Items 1 and 3? Legal item? Collection item? Delinquency? This calls for a trip to the Equifax for a copy of my credit report (my one freebie each year) and a side trip to their Equifax Online Dispute page.

After reviewing my account, there was one entry in the Collections category for an account with “PPL ELECTRIC UTILITIES,” a power company that appears to be located in Pennsylvania. About a year ago I cleared up some errors on my credit report from another bureau for a cell phone that wasn’t mine, an social security number linked to my account plus some address history; could this be a leftover from that account? It appears so.

What’s infuriating is that the other SSN was identical except a six was replaced with a zero and Equifax felt it was “close enough” to link to my account! I don’t understand why it didn’t have to be an exact match. Anyway, I submitted a dispute and we’ll how quickly they can get that resolved.

{ 11 comments, please add your thoughts now! }

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11 Responses to “Investigating A Error On My Equifax Credit Report”

  1. Adfecto says:

    That would be so frustrating! I need to pull my free credit report this summer (1 year from my last checkup) to make sure everything is correct as well. I know when we were looking at mortgages about a year ago I was in the 720’s and my wife was in the 730’s. I imagine they will be the same or higher this year but I’m not really sure. We don’t do arbitrage with our cards but we do have some bad debt that needs to be cleaned up.

  2. Posco says:

    Could you please clarify for me: Why was Equifax obligated to tell you your credit score? A potential lender pulled your credit report, but I thought you elected not to refinance. You were not turned down because of a low credit score, were you? (In which case, you would get to see the credit report with the credit score… I think.)

    Just wondering, because it looks like you got your credit score for free.

  3. jim says:

    Sorry, they were obligated because an undisclosed lender turned me down. So LendingTree shopped my info around, a bunch responded but at least one declined so they sent it to me.

  4. Minimum Wage says:

    Several years ago I had an extended illness with no income, several accounts were closed and charged off. These SHOULD drop off my credit report sometime this year, BUT a debt scavenger bought up the debts and has re-aged them (to 2006) on my credit report.

    I will dispute them, the debt scavenger will “verify” them, and they’ll stay on my report and there’s not much I can do about it.

    • tracey says:

      yes you can. It is against ftc rules to reage debt if you contact the credit bureaus they have to investigate and remove the items. I hope this helps

  5. Colonel Cash says:

    Where you able to send notice to company that is reporting the erroneous information? Doing so might expedite the removal of the item. In this post , I write about sending the CRA and the company reporting the debt the dispute in the mail, certified and requesting a return receipt. When it comes to getting things corrected and\or removed from your credit file, you cannot be to thorough. I hope yours is smooth and easy to correct!

  6. Mia says:

    Thank you for writing this post – my transunion FICO score just went up 74 points!! I read your post last night and decided I’d try for myself. I disputed a collections with TransUnion at 6pm last night and at 4am received notice that it had been resolved by Deletion! This had been on our report for 4 years and was the only negative – it was a medical bill for our sons birth in 2001, one that we some how missed paying (tons of bills because he was in NICU for 2 weeks) but paid as soon as we found out about it 3 years later in 2004. It was sent to the collection company and recorded on our report the month after we paid – their bill was how we learned of the debt so I never thought we’d stand a chance at having it removed 🙂 I’m still waiting to hear back from Experian (it was never reported to Equifax). Again, a big thanks!

  7. Rev says:

    minimum wage. I am not sure what kind of accounts these are but they won’t stay more than years unless YOU messed up. If you started paying again then they will stay that is the only way to renew one. If you haven’t then they aren’t renewed if you did you are as big of dumbass in real life as on here. Debts don’t just magically start over on their statute of limitations.

  8. Minimum Wage says:

    My credit report says those debt are 2006. My last payments were in 2001. The collector can say anything they want and the consumer has to PROVE the collector is wrong.

  9. Cap says:

    Jim #5 from Pennsylvania needs to stop running from the bill collectors… I actually had a recent snafu on my credit report that brought my score down 90 points too… but a dispute to the creditor itself has fixed the problem. I’m assuming you’re not applying for new credit anytime soon, so probably not an big issue.

  10. Diane says:

    Go to or read the Fair Debt Collection Practice Act. Don’t let them get away with this.

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