Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Grrr, credit reporting

Hubby and I are in the process of refinancing our home. It has been a surprisingly smooth process, especially when you consider that our house is worth less now than when we purchased it 5 years ago. The financers take the middle of the three credit agency's numbers when calculating our interest rate. I have always had, and been proud of my really good credit.

Imagine my surprise when one of the agencies had a medical collection on my record from a town I never lived in under a name I never used! Why can an agency add a random collection under a random name? It's not like it was my name with a different middle initial or something. This was listed under my first name (the most common in my birth year) with a last name that was completely different from either my maiden or married names. Really? Shouldn't they contact you before doing something so completely asinine?

Now, of course, the burden is on me to prove that this collection doesn't belong to me and that this last name wasn't mine. My favorite part is that the agency does its investigation by contacting the organizations that reported the collection to them in the first place! I'm sure they have vested interest in maintaining that the overdue bill was in fact, mine. If the agencies decide that they aren't wrong, they keep it on my credit report and all I can do is file a note explaining why I don't think it should be there.

The only good news here is that my other two scores are quite good and this erroneous score isn't going to hurt our mortgage refinance. I can only imagine how angry people must be who have their identities stolen. How in the world do you go about proving that?


LaLa said...

That happened to me when we were buying our house in Champaign. One credit agency had a bill from Texas Utilities that someone opened using my name and SSN. I could prove that I didn't live at the address and that I didn't have an account with TU at all, but it was a hassle. Someone obviously went through mail or found a paystub. This was well before identity theft was common. I had to put a fraud alert on my record. It really is a good idea to review your credit regularly just to make sure everything's right. Take advantage of the free annual credit report - but get one from each of the 3 bureaus on a rotating basis. What I don't understand is why there are 3.

Cathy said...

That really stinks, even though I'm sure they will resolve something as obvious as that. Sorry for the hassle, I would be livid.

melydia said...

My husband is a Junior, so there are several things on his credit report that are actually his father. Good thing my in-laws have good credit, because I have absolutely no idea how we'd sort that out. Best of luck with this nonsense!

Amber said...

This exact same thing just happened to me and Carlos! I hadn't realized it was so common. Wow.

Jenn said...

You would think that in the electronic age, it would be easier to tell that, say, I never had a certain last name. It's a big problem. Sorry you all had issues too.

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