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Credit Report Mistakes Blocked Man for More Than Two Years

By Faye Mergel
Published: Monday, November 30th, 2009

A Forsyth County man was not able to get credit for nearly two and a half years after two of the three major credit reporting agencies (CRAs) recorded him as dead.

Specialists Give Tips to Bad Credit Car Loan ApplicantsRon Snow would now laugh at the mistake and would even joke about it with family members. But the error of two CRAs was not that easy to correct. Some lenders believed that he was using another person’s identity to get a way with a loan while others simply believed him but still would not transact with him unless the errors in his credit report are corrected. It was not until a bank helped him until he was finally to get an approval again.

Snow first knew that he was listed “deceased” when he tried to buy a car in 2008. Creditors told him that his financing arrangements were denied after they found out in his credit report that he was dead.

Snow decided not to buy a car anymore. He thought he would not encounter the same problem again when he walked away from the deal. But a store salesman once again denied him transaction after they checked out his credit report which still declares him as deceased. Snow said it got to him that time and realized that there must be something wrong if he is not able to get credit.

After several inquiries, Snow discovered that the problem began when his wife died and he closed one of the bank accounts they shared. Somehow, two of the three major CRAs thought that the changes were made due to Snow’s death.

Bruce McClary, a local finance expert, said it is incredible how many credit reports contain errors. He was referring to a recent survey which reveals that 75 percent of the reports issued by CRAs contain errors. Additionally, they contain at least one item that can hurt a consumer’s rating.

In Snow’s case, he had to get the help of BB&T to prove he was alive and not deceased, as revealed by his credit report.

McClary said fixing an error it not easy and takes time. He recommends contacting the CRAs and bringing document that would prove the mistake. He tells consumers that the best way to communicate with the bureaus is through writing. Consumers are further advised to check their credit report once a year to make sure that creditors do not make a mistake in reporting their status change with the CRAs.

Experts suggest that consumers read the guidelines at the Federal Trade Commission’s website to so they will know what to do if there are errors in their credit report.

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