In 2004, a hospital staffer accidentally checked off “deceased” on a heart surgery patient’s discharge papers. That one little tick mark on one document resulted in years of headaches for that woman, as she has attempted time and again to prove to the three credit bureaus that she is not a zombie. [More]
Shawn is peeved. He’s in the middle of securing financing on a new house and the last thing you need during that time period are any surprise people looking at your credit report. These inquiries can bring your score down. But he got exactly one of those, a “hard” one, thanks to an unauthorized peek-a-boo Time Warner Cable decided to do on his credit report when called them up to ask about reducing his cable package. [More]
People talk a lot about credit scores. Bands play songs about them in TV ads that try to sell you credit reports. It’s generally known that a higher score is better than a lower score. But what really is the difference between a person with a 820 and one with a 620? Is one a better person than the other? Not necessarily, but the person with the 620 score can expect to pay $227 more a month on a $216,000 30-year fixed rate mortgage. Here’s the breakdown. [More]
NYT reports that the three major credit bureaus each keep a special VIP list of important people who are given preferential treatment when fixing their credit reports. The list has the names of celebrities, politicians, judges and others on it. When they have errors on their reports, they are fixed by employees who work in America, and fixed swiftly. The rest of us get our requests shunted overseas to be dealt with in a cursory manner. [More]
Cleaning up a dirty credit report usually involves a lot of letters. Because just mustering the strength to sit down and face this task may have already drained you of your creative juice, via Frugal For Life here are a few sample letters you can use when dealing with the credit bureaus, debt collectors and creditors. Use them as Madlibs or as inspiration to kick your own cleanup spree into high gear. [More]
Someone stole Mike’s identity and has been using it to pay for gas service and buy cellphones in his name. He’s even got a $163 default judgment against him for something he never paid. Here’s how he unraveled the threads of his identity thieves, and how he may never truly be free from their grasp. [More]
An anonymous reader says credit bureaus can’t keep her identity separate with that of another woman with the same last name who used to live in her building. The reader says the bureaus won’t resolve her complaint, insisting the other woman has to take the initiative to fix the errors. [More]
Feel the hair on your neck rising? Your bank is watching, with greater scrutiny then ever before. Banks are figuring out new scores and models to figure out your credit worthiness, using everything from how you deposit and withdraw money to how you pay your rent. [More]
In order to qualify for a “short sale,” in which the lender agrees for the house to be sold for less than the remaining amount owed and takes a loss, the lender sometimes requires the homeowner to be several months delinquent on their mortgage payments. But while getting out of a house you can’t afford can be a good idea, bear in mind that the delinquency will stain your credit report. [More]
Over 80% of credit reports have errors on them, errors which could be lowering your credit score and keeping you from getting credit or paying more for it than you should. Here’s how to fix them: [More]
Some HR departments use credit checks to help determine whether to hire an applicant. The practice has always had critics, since credit histories can have errors that are hard to correct, and since there’s no strong correlation between credit history and job performance. But in this economy the practice may be even less fair, notes MSNBC, even though more organizations are relying on it. [More]
Donny just bought a bunch of credit scores. But they’re all from different companies and none of them are the same. What gives? [More]
The downside to responsible lending is that the lenders will need more information about you, says the WSJ. [More]
It didn’t take long for Intuit to start ruining a great product. They’ve begun upselling Mint.com customers to two “free” credit report sites that are anything but. UPDATE: Turns out Mint was already doing this pre-Intuit. Bully for them.
Shortly after surviving the death of her husband and a life-threatening medical crisis, Ann Howe of Seattle decided to refinance her home mortgage. Everything went smoothly until the bank informed her that the refinance couldn’t be completed because the credit bureau Experian was convinced that she was dead.
Thanks to federal regulations, when you dispute an account on your credit report and the dispute is resolved in your favor, the credit reporting agency is required to remove or correct the account. Credit reporting agencies often don’t do this, though, and the Washington Post notes that it can come back and interfere with your next home loan application.