Credit Reports

03Oct08

After getting rejected from a credit card last week, I was suspicious since it cited “insufficient credit” reasons for my denial (credit info from Experian). I’ve been meaning to get free copies of my credit report for years now so I finally had a catalyst to do it. If you don’t know already, you’re entitled to one free credit report per year from each of the three credit reporting agencies (Experian, TransUnion, and Equifax). You don’t have to get them all at once, so if you spread it out, you could get a free credit report every 4 months. I always thought that each reporting agency had the same information but…

So I request my free Experian credit report. It’s really easy, you can do it all online now. I open up my credit report online… and my heart skips a beat. There are two “Potentially Negative Items.” I open them up, two past due credit cards are listed. I look at the rest of the credit items. Pages of credit cards I don’t know about. And then I get to the personal information, and there are many variations of my name, and a ton of listed addresses I don’t recognize at all. Uh oh. What’s going on here. I freak out for the next few hours. Identity theft?! How did this happen?! Well, something doesn’t seem right since all my personal information is whack. My birthday is wrong, there are social security number variations listed. Weird.

So finally, I decide to bite the bullet and request another credit report from a different agency (I didn’t want to initially because I wanted to start the check-credit-report-every-4-months deal). I try TransUnion. I get the credit report, and it’s so so short. The personal information is right, the credit cards I recognize, everything is good. Whew. TransUnion is awesome. So what’s going on here. Well, at least it’s not identity theft! So now I’m thinking, why the heck is Experian so stupid?? Looks like they mixed OTHER PEOPLE’S credit information into MY report! What a huge error! Anyway, I called Experian this morning to get it all fixed, and hopefully it is. They’re supposed to send me an updated report in a few weeks, and hopefully it’ll all be cleared up. In the meantime, though, I got my credit card application rejected, sucks.

So the moral of the story is, check your credit report!

Even if there’s no identity theft, these credit report agencies can be really stupid and make ridiculous errors on your report that you need to go fix yourself. So go ahead, get on that 4 month schedule (or just do all 3 agencies simultaneously once a year). Here’s the link.

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One Response to “Credit Reports”

  1. 1 bryan

    If you (or others) check your credit report too many times, your credit rating goes down. (Happened to me when I was applying for home loans). It doesn’t drop considerably, but it’s something to keep in mind.

    Like


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