18
Mar

Turning bad news of being turned down for a small loan or credit card into the good thing that discovering and repairing a credit report brings.

Bob Simpson walks into a home entertainment store to look at pool tables for the basement rec room he just finished with his son Todd. Bob’s wallet has all the usual suspects, a driver’s license, and pictures of his wife and kids and their two dogs, Max and Otto and of course an assortment of credit cards.

Bob tells the salesman about his new rec room and how he’s looking for an old school pool table with carved legs and preferably red felt instead of green. Of course he wants to make sure they include an old time light fixture with green glass globes for over the table. They browse the floor and Bob picks his dream table, lighting fixture and cue rack and they head to a desk to finalize the order.

Bob mentions that he would like to use his credit card since it has enough available credit to cover the whole purchase. The salesman tells Bob he can probably save him some money with store financing that is interest free for the first 12 months. Bob thinks to himself this day just keeps getting better and says “great sign me up!”

Information is exchanged, the appropriate forms are completed and the salesperson tells Bob he just has to run the application by his credit manager and he’ll be back in a short while. Bob wonders around the store considering adding some additional accessories thanks to the money he’ll be saving on interest.

The look on the salesperson’s face tells Bob that the credit manager was not impressed with his credit report and he should forget about extra accessories and maybe even ditch the old time light fixture. The salesperson assures Bob it’s not personal and that sometimes these things happen and it’s no big deal he can still pay with his credit card like he planned.

Bob’s story is not unique, people with mortgages and credit cards can be just as easily turned down for new credit as someone who has never borrowed more than a few dollars for a cup of coffee. Bad credit or more often negative items on credit reports can result in responsible people like Bob being turned down for credit through no fault of their own.

Credit reporting mistakes and errors often have nothing to do with the person on whose report they appear. In a 60 Minutes report that re-aired this past August anchor Steve Croft reported that credit disputes that are mailed into credit reporting agencies like Experian are often sent directly overseas to place like the Philippines, India and even Chile for resolution.

Crofts’ report included interviews with attorneys Len Bennett and Sylvia Goldsmith who have successfully sued credit rating agencies over their errors say that the “dispute procedures used by the credit reporting agencies uniformly used completely fail to comply with the Fair Credit Reporting Act.” The Ohio Attorney General agreed with the assessment adding that the “impact it has on real people is just unconscionable.”

While disputing errors with credit reporting companies has gotten easier in cases involving a single creditor. Particularly where the creditor is willing to work with the consumer in correcting records it is still a thorny issue when there may be more than one erroneous item on a report and the consumer does not have a relationship with the creditor.

Often the best solution is working with a credit professional that is familiar with not only the common mistaken information that appears but also with the unusual. Credit repair professionals are often better equipped to deal with these agencies because they know the ins and outs because they spend their workday dealing with others who have similar issues.