Category Archives: Credit Reports

Equifax Free Credit Monitoring Due to the Company’s Data Breach

In 2017, credit bureau Equifax was hacked, and the records of approximately 147 million people were compromised. Unsurprisingly, lawsuits were filed, and, as part of a court settlement, those impacted by the breach were ultimately offered a choice between a one-time payment of $125 or four years of free credit monitoring. It may seem like […]

‘Buy Now, Pay Later’ – Why These Programs May Distort Your Credit Score

If you were doing some last-minute holiday shopping online, you might have seen a new option as you chose to purchase your item: Instead of paying the full amount, you could pay a portion at the time of purchase and space the rest over time (often, four payments made every two weeks). But what that […]

Mistaken Identities on a Credit Report: An All-too Common Problem for People with Common Names… (and Those with Unusual Ones, Too….)

In 2014, 38,313 men in the United States shared the name “James Smith.” It’s impossible to know if any of them were related to each other, or the 34,810 Michael Smiths and 34,269 Robert Smiths also walking around. But we can expect that they, and the 32,092 Maria Garcias and 30,507 Maria Rodriguezes, all have […]

Consumer Financial Protection Bureau Issues Advisory About Name-Only Background Screening

What’s in a name? There is a great deal of frustration, confusion, and even difficulty navigating normal life if you are among the 38,000 Americans named James Smith or one of the 32,000 Maria Garcias in the United States. If you have a common first- and surname combination, it’s likely that you’ve been misidentified as […]

The Mixed-Up Files of Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion: What Happens When You and Your Neighbor Have the Same Name

Is your name James Smith? If so, you’re not just not alone, but as far from alone as it’s possible to be. That’s because this is the most common combination of first and last names in the world. And chances are you’ve developed a way to distinguish yourself, at least in your social circle or […]

Frustrated, Furious, or Depressed Because of a Credit Report Glitch? How to Fix It, Fast!

Have you ever been denied a bank or credit union loan, had an apartment application denied, or stood red-faced and sweating as the supermarket cashier says your debit card has been declined? If so, you know that financial and credit-related issues can be embarrassing and anxiety-inducing. But did you realize that you could be compensated […]

Credit Reports: Not As Accurate As You Might Think

Your credit score wields a lot of influence over your life. It can be the make-or-break determinate when buying a car, securing a mortgage, or accessing a line of credit for a new business venture. We’d like to think the logic behind our score is pretty bulletproof, but that may not be the case. In […]

Erroneous Information On Your Credit Reports? It May Be A Case Of Mixed Files

Can you imagine knowing that you’re dying of multiple cancers, trying to make sure your spouse of 50 years could cover burial costs, and attempting to renovate your home, and then being denied your HELOC application? That’s what happened to James Rennick. He was told that there was a problem with his credit report. It […]

Someone Else’s Bad Credit Information Can Appear On Your Credit Report When You Have A Very Common Name—What Can You Do About It?

You’ve worked hard to build your credit, you’ve paid your bills on time, and you’ve responsibly increased card limits over time. Finally, it’s time to apply for a car loan, a mortgage, or even a new job and reap the benefits. But then the representative comes back, and your application has been denied because of […]