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Investigating A Error On My Equifax Credit Report

Posted By Jim On 02/26/2008 @ 2:38 pm In Personal Finance | 11 Comments

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 [3].

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.


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