Credit Score in Fremont>Question Details

Stephanie, Home Buyer in Fremont, CA

Poor credit scores due to mistaken identity

Asked by Stephanie, Fremont, CA Thu May 24, 2012

We are unable to apply for a loan due to poor credit scores. When we checked our credit report, we found out many delinquent accounts not belonging to us. It belonged to someone else with a similar name and social security number. What is your advice on what to do? How long do you think it will take the credit scores to be corrected ... or if it can be corrected at all? I plan to file a dispute with the credit agencies but is there anything else I can do regarding getting a loan? Does that mean I will never be able to buy a home? *sniff*

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Hello Stephanie,
Yes, you first must contact the credit agencies with proof that those delinquent accounts are not yours in order to raise your credit scores. Once that is rectified then you can reapply for a home loan but definitely get your credit corrected ASAP.

Here is what you can do:

1. Make a copy of your credit report and circle every item you believe is incorrect.

2. Write a letter to the reporting agency (the address will be printed on the report). Explain each dispute and request an investigation to resolve the issues. If you have supporting paperwork, send it along, coding pages to match dispute paragraphs. Do not send your originals.

3. Send all materials by certified mail, return receipt requested, so that you can prove the packet was received.

4. Send a similar letter of dispute to the creditor whose reporting statements you disagree with.
If your dispute involves personal information, such as your current address, enclose a copy of your driver's license or a utility bill in your name to verify your residence.

The reporting agency will initiate an investigation, contacting your creditors to verify the accuracy of the information. If the creditor cannot verify that the entry is correct, it must be removed. When the investigation is complete, the agency must send you a free copy of your report if changes were made.

If the investigation uncovers an error, you have the right to ask that a corrected version of your credit report be sent to everyone who received the report during the past six months.

Hope this is helpful.
Good luck to you!

Laura Feghali
Prudential Connecticut Realty
1 vote Thank Flag Link Thu May 24, 2012
I have found that CONSUMER ACTION is an excellent resource for objective advice on all things credit related. You'll find free and sincere advice on everything from settling collection accounts to rebuilding credit to building credit from scratch on their website http://www.consumer-action.org/.


Beware of anyone offering to "repair" your credit! The Federal Trade Commission issued a stern warning last year that such offers are scams. Find more from the FTC HERE. http://www.ftc.gov/bcp/edu/microsites/moneymatters/dealing-w…


Trevor Curran
NMLS #40140
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Jun 1, 2012
Hi Stephanie,

Sorry to hear that.
very good information given.

Here are a few links to articles on how to increase your score. But first, as mentioned below, removing the errors would be a priority.

http://www.nytimes.com/2012/05/20/realestate/mortgages-how-t…

http://brianripp.com/2012/02/22/5-ways-to-improve-your-credi…

Brian
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri May 25, 2012
If you never review and challenge your negative credit items, then they'll remain on your report. It is only you that can put these accounts in check.

Nobody should care about your credit more than you.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri May 25, 2012
Stephanie,
I had this happen to a client of mine a few years ago. There are no shortcuts or easy fixes; you must dispute in writing each account that is on your report fraudulently to each of the three agencies reporting it. Once you have the reports in, it may be possible to deal with the follow-up online and by phone and email. The sooner you start the process the sooner it may be over, but don't take their word for it and assume nothing until you obtain a clean credit report. We had several false starts. I wish I could tell you otherwise, but I'd rather you be prepared for the most likely scenario. Best of luck.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu May 24, 2012
Hi Stephanie,

The Federal Trade Commission has a "How to Dispute Credit Report Errors" webpage here:
http://www.ftc.gov/bcp/edu/pubs/consumer/credit/cre21.shtm

I also want to make sure you know you do have three credit scores (Experian, TransUnion, Equifax) and a lender will be using your "mid-score" for underwriting. If you are only pulling a single credit score you may be missing other items that are hurting your score that show on one or both of the other two credit reporting agencies.

The best thing you can do now is to completely focus on contacting the three credit bureaus to rectify the erroneous accounts!

-Steve
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu May 24, 2012
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