Your poor credit score may not be a case of identity theft, or even the result of irresponsible management of funds. That is, if you have a shared name with a loved one. The tradition of honoring husbands, fathers, and grandfathers by passing down family names is a treasured custom, but can be downright tricky to manage with creditors. Applicants filling out credit applications may not always include generational titles (Jr., II, III) or keep the spelling of their name consistent (for example, David, Dave or Jonathan, Jon). To make matters worse, some relatives live under one roof, not allowing differing addresses to help with proper identification. And, while a similar birth month and date can also lead to account confusion, one or all of these mentioned factors can lead to an unintentional blended credit report. In fact, some duplicate name issues happen among those who are not even related.
There are Preventative Measures
We are all guilty of filling out paperwork as fast as lightning, but for those born with an inherited identification challenge or simply a common first and last name, careful review is suggested. Some other tips that can help avoid confusion;
- On all forms, remain consistent with name spelling and always include identification clues such as “junior” or “senior”.
- Offering all of the requested information, such as phone number, address and social security number (even if you prefer to be unlisted), can avoid a mix-up.
- Additionally, an annual review of your credit history can nip an emerging problem in the bud.
What to do if Credit is Already Affected
Dispute, dispute, dispute. When someone else appears on your credit history, manage the mistakes by addressing the issues with the three credit bureaus–TransUnion, Equifax and Experian. The bureaus will present the disputes to the lender; however, the process can be long and daunting.
As we’ve written before, hiring a professional credit restoration company to work on your behalf, like Ovation, can help speed-up or improve the process of removing inaccurate credit report information.
Our experience working with the credit bureaus eases the credit repair process because we naturally anticipate industry tactics and responses. Ovation programs and services consist of disputing credit items, personal information and inquiries to all three credit bureaus, and disputing credit items directly with the creditor. Each program we have is customized to individual needs.
Ovation Credit Services is Happy to Help
Call us today for a free consultation to learn more about our services and how quickly you may be back in good credit standing.