Woman's Credit History Goes Missing, Giving Her A Credit Score Of Zero

When Cindy X pulled her credit report from TransUnion recently, it was blank. “I am 48, have an active credit history, and my other credit reports were accurate,” she writes in to Kiplinger. TransUnion, however, told her that she was on her own to fix the problem and would have to contact her creditors individually.

Kiplinger was able to fix the problem with what we hope was a vaguely threatening phone call:

You were misinformed. The information missing from your report was from major banks, including Citibank and Bank of America, so it should have been included. “This was not an optimal customer-service experience,” Steven Katz of TransUnion’s TrueCredit.com, admitted to us.

They looked into the problem, saw that there was an oversight due to a change in how Cindy listed her first name about ten years ago, and prepared an accurate report. Moral of the story: if accounts are missing and the problem is only showing up on one report, escalate it—odds are it’s not a problem with your bank accounts, but with the reporting agency.

You should also be aware that name changes can cause some confusion.

If information is missing, check your statements to see whether the card issuer is using a different version of your name. If you change your name after getting married, contact all of your lenders — even issuers of old cards you may not have used in a while. And be as persistent as Cindy.

“Missing Credit Information” [Kiplinger]


Edit Your Comment

  1. darkclawsofchaos says:

    wow, if her credit was good that sucks, if it was bad, a blank slate is gift, I mean zero is bad but a second chance at rebuilding a clean slate is easier than building a messy one

  2. allthatsevil says:

    Last time I requested my credit report I got a similar result. But I didn’t even get a zero. One of the reports was completely blank, and the other two couldn’t provide a report at all. They kept asking me for more info – everything short of a urine sample. It was like I simply didn’t exist.

    After building up my credit over the last year, I’m curious to see what the results will be this time.

  3. Tank says:

    I’ve seen something similar this before. I had a customer with nearly 20 trade lines; a mortgage, a heloc, several installment loans and a buttload of credit cards, and no credit score.

    When I told him his credit report said “Insufficient – Not Scored” he came at me like I did something wrong. The issue was with Trans Union, and he rectified it with a letter.


  4. how can you get a zero? i thought the minimum score was like 400 or something… just like the sat.

  5. dorianh49 says:

    Maybe she should change her last name from X. Marry a guy with the last name “Malcom” or something.

  6. morale of the story? She’s not fighting a war

  7. ShortBus says:

    This isn’t all that uncommon. Happens most frequently when women get married and change their last name. It’s generally not much of a problem to fix by writing a letter or two.

    Oh, and even if you have a spotty credit history, it normally sucks worse to have NO history. The average age of all your tradlines and the age of your oldest tradeline accounts for a huge part of your FICO. A few late pays here and there a few years ago, not so much. I’d rather even have a charge-off that’s a few years old than have no record.

  8. StinkyCat says:

    even if her credit is marginal, this might be a Godsned. all she has to do is contact all of her GOOD creditors and ask themn to resubmit to Transunion, giving her awesome credit.

    If she has collection accounts or old debtors that she had late payments on that are now paid or closed or write-offs she is GOLDEN, they’ll never show back up.

  9. deadlizard says:

    That’d be so awesome if she filed bankrupcy recently.

  10. miramesa says:

    How did she get in contact with Transunion’s corporate personnel? Every avenue I try shoots me overseas to their outsourced staff, and even their managers are useless.

  11. ladycrumpet says:

    Seems like changing your name isn’t worth the hassle!

  12. n/a says:

    Kind of hard to pull up a credit report for someone named Cindy X, I mean if it was Cindy Y or Cindy Z it would be hella easier but that damn X makes it harder for us.

  13. King of the Wild Frontier says:

    I’m guessing that the photo at the top was also used in an article about online porn…

  14. JiminyChristmas says:

    If you want to really court some trouble, try changing your name when you’re a man. About 15 years ago a friend of mine took his wife’s name when he married (long story). He had repeated problems with credit and verifying his identity. What made it worse was that a lot of the businesses he dealt with seemed to operating with the default assumption that some sort of fraud was being attempted.

    Who knows, maybe electronic recordkeeping is improved enough since 1993 that it’s not so much of a problem, but it was a nightmare at the time.

  15. Osi says:

    Not uncommon at all. TransUnion have a history of major problems of screwing up people’s reports. Mine does not exist after 12 years of credit history … go figure. They keep claiming I do not exist.

    Therefore, whenever I do go for loans and such, I have to let the lenders know that TransUnion is incapable of their jobs, and to use only the other 3 (yes there are 4 total) credit boroughs.

  16. diamondmaster1 says:

    Lots of Luck…I have documented proof of errors in all three Bureaus and they STILL will not correct them, nor will they put a 100-word statement from me as required by law. Amazing to me that the credit reporting agencies appear to have no responsibility or accountability for what they have in their files at all.

  17. Mr. Gunn says:

    Transunion is missing TONS of information that Experian and Equifax have. Every time a creditor checks my record, they pull Experian, so I imagine TU is fairly well-known for keeping a shoddy record.

  18. Mr. Gunn says:

    diamondmaster1: Sue them for $1000 per violation, as is your right under the FCRA.

    Or you can just continue to bitch on a blog, what ever makes you happy.

  19. SacraBos says:

    @King of the Wild Frontier: Maybe she changed her name from Cindy XXX.

  20. kc-guy says:

    At least her name isn’t “Record, Dummy.”

  21. rlee says:

    Yup, just today I sent out my fourth attempt at getting somebody else’s info (name, address, utility account) off my TransUnion report. After I first complained, they put his name at the top and made mine an AKA. And it didn’t get any better after that.

    This time I followed Consumerist’s advice and sent a copy of my letter (also ReturnReceipt) to the COO’s address.

  22. timmus says:

    I have heard that if you simply have a law office file a complaint on your behalf, especially in regard to credit issues, then it will open magic doors. I’m not sure what the going rate for that is; can’t possibly be much more than the rate for a paralegal to type it up.

  23. HappyCustomer says:

    After getting my free annual reports, I found that TransUnion and one of the other Bureaus had my name ridiculously incorrect. I filled out a correction form with one, not finding a correction form, I sent a letter to the other, along with a copy of my driver’s license. Neither one of them corrected it. I received some unrelated form letter from each of them. Wtf?

  24. Sixxtwo says:

    *makes obligitory Sindi ‘stripper name joke’* *Does the math; 48-10=DO NOT WANT*