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11/27/07

The Importance of Knowing What is in your Credit Report

Many people believe that they are immune from fraudulent or incorrect information in their credit report. I, however, have experienced a phenomenon I like call “credit reporting agency stupidity.” I would like to use a less harsh word than “stupidity,” but after what I have experienced with these credit reporting bureaus, “stupidity” is the only word that accurately describes their practices.

I am named after my father, therefore, we share the same name. The only difference between my name and my father’s name is that my name has the Roman numeral “II” following my name (denoting “the second”). My social security number is different and, quite obviously, my birthday is different. One would think that any one of these differences would lead a credit reporting agency to understand that my father and me are two separate individuals. However, such is not the case.

I cannot tell you how many banks and credit bureaus I have had to contact in order to remove items from my credit report that belong to my father. It is amazing to me that a credit reporting agency with millions of dollars cannot figure out that I am a separate individual from my father. Are they so ignorant to think that nobody in this country has the same name as another person? Is not that why the government provides social security numbers so as to distinguish between the numerous people with the same name? I can only imagine the problems in the credit report of a person named “Michael Smith!”

The point is, you need to check your credit report regularly to avoid any shenanigans that the credit reporting agencies love to create. Make sure that all the information in your credit report is correct. If you find any inaccurate information (even if it is something like your current occupation or your phone number) dispute the inaccuracy and provide the correct information. Trust me, you do not want to experience “credit reporting agency stupidity.”

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