Often times when Consumers apply for loans, they are surprised to discover that false information is reporting on their credit reports. When it comes down to Juniors and Seniors who share the same name with the exception of a generation indicator such as Jr., Sr. or III, it is imperative that they keep a close eye on their consumer credit reports due to identity mix ups. Let’s take a father and son who have the same name and disect a very common scenario.
A son named "John Smith Junior" meets with his Mortgage Lender to discuss the possibility of refinancing his mortgage loan in order to take advantage of all time low interest rates. The Mortgage Lender states that ideal credit scores (FICO Scores) should be in the 700's and then proceeds to run a routine "triple merged credit report" from all three credit bureaus (Experian, Trans Union and Equifax) as the first step.
After the Mortgage Lender ran the triple merged credit report, it was apparent that there were several derogatory issues on John Smith Junior's credit profile that were resulting in less than perfect credit scores. It seemed there was a current revolving credit card account with several late payment notations from 2011 and 2012 as well as an unpaid collection account placed in 2013 by a medical office. These derogatory issues were resulting in credit scores that were in the 600's which meant refinancing at a lower interest rate was clearly not in the cards for John Smith Junior.
John Smith Junior informed the Mortgage Lender that these two accounts did not belong to him personally, but that there was a strong possibility that the accounts belonged to his father "John Smith Senior" who he shares the same name with. The Mortgage Lender instructed John Smith Junior to aggressively dispute the false information on his credit reports by contacting both the credit card company, as well as the medical office.
It was imperative that John Smith Junior request to have the false information removed from his credit reports immediately in order for his credit scores to climb into the 700's. And so the dispute process began... John Smith Junior contacted the credit card company who was reporting the late payment notations from 2011 and 2012. When the Supervisor at the credit card company asked for him to verify his social security number and date of birth for proof of identification, it was clear that the account did not belong to him, the personal identification was not matching up with the information in their computer system.
The Supervisor proceeded to compose a detailed letter on the credit card company’s letterhead confirming that this account did not belong to John Smith Junior, the Supervisor made sure to include all of John Smith Junior's personal identification in the letter in order to cross reference.
John Smith Junior then proceeded to contact the Office Manager at the medical office who also confirmed that John Smith Junior's social security number was not matching up with what was in their system. Similar to the situation with the credit card company, the Office Manager at the medical office generated a letter on their company letterhead confirming that the account did not belong to John Smith Junior and included all of his personal identification in the letter for cross reference as well.
After receiving written confirmation directly from the two Creditors that these two accounts officially did not belong to him, John Smith Junior proceeded to draft a detailed cover letter to each of the three Credit Bureaus (Experian, Trans Union and Equifax) disputing these derogatory issues that were taking valuable points off of his credit scores. He was also instructed by his Mortgage Lender to include photocopies of his proof of identification such as his social security card and W2 which would prove his social security number, as well as a current utility bills and bank statement which clearly stated his proof of address.
John Smith Junior received his updated and corrected credit reports from all three credit bureaus within the thirty day time frame that the credit bureaus have to abide by. The Mortgage Lender was now able to proceeded with running John Smith Junior's triple merge credit report for the second time and was pleased to see that the credit scores were now well over 700, this was an ideal credit score range for refinancing at a lower interest rate.
By recognizing derogatory issues on his credit reports that belonged to his father who has the same name, John Smith Junior was able to take advantage of all time low interest rates which will allow him to save thousands of dollars per year on his mortgage loan moving forward!