Disputing credit report?

jamie_mtJune 25, 2003

I have another question for you wise people...I pulled a separate credit report from each agency (all three web sites said disputes would need to accompany a report from *thier* agency, so merged reports wouldn't work), and found that my Experian report is *totally* screwed up (the other two are fine). My dad and I have very similar names (I'm Jamie, he's James, and he doesn't have a middle name/initial), so his name, SSN, addresses (home and business), and accounts are all on my credit report, along with my own stuff, and his joint accounts with my mom. Obviously, I need to dispute over half the report - so I'm trying to decide whether to send one letter to dispute all the "wrong" things (accounts, SSN, names, addresses, etc), or send one for the wrong accounts, and one for the personal info.

I've read that handwritten is sometimes better, as they could think you're a "professional" if you type it out. But honestly, I'm not going to use a "form" letter (I have a couple just to make sure I include all necessary information), and that's a lot of handwriting, so I am going to type the letter. And I'll send it certified mail, return reciept, because I've gotten screwed over too many times with mailing correspondence without it.

So any ideas how best to go about this? Would it be better to dispute the personal information first, and then the accounts if fixing the personal info doesn't automatically remove the wrong accounts? Or should I dispute the whole thing at once, or just the accounts? Any ideas?

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Just scrolled down and read windchime's answer to another related question, and maybe I'll do the disputing online as well...

    Bookmark   June 25, 2003 at 11:35AM
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I would do it w/ typing. Nowadays, everyone's got a computer and a printer. And why would it matter if you're a "professional"--a professional scam artist, you mean? Make their lives and yours easy--type it.

And I'd do it all at once, frankly. Especially if it's all a matter of linking the right person w/ the right account.

Perhaps you'd want to put any disputes about your OWN credit items (you've settled that debt they're still listing as open, for example) in a separate letter. That way at least the identity things would be settled even if the credit dispute took some resolving.

But all items related to confusing you w/ your dad or simply getting your identity info wrong should be in the same letter.

I'd make a photocopy of the credit report and write on it (annotate "see item A" or something), and then write out the paragraph pertaining to it. To guide them item-by-item through the errors.

I'd also include a photocopy of your dad's social security card, and of yours. Maybe a photocopy of your dad's driver's license, too, so they've got documentation of the fact that he exists. Usually photocopies of those things are not acceptable as official proof, but they could certainly start the ball rolling, and maybe you could get a notary public to stamp the photocopies as true photocopies of an actual valid document.

    Bookmark   June 25, 2003 at 1:55PM
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Thanks Tally Sue - good suggestions, and I'll take them. Type-written definately seems the way to go - the place I read not to type it said that the credit agencies will sometimes make it hard on those who use "credit repair" professionals to write thier letters - that's the "professionals" they were talking about. I really don't have any disputes with my own info - everything looks fine (well, as fine as it gets, but it's all true) on my accounts. It's just the whole identity thing...

The only thing is, I really, *really* don't want to get my dad involved anymore than necessary. I'm sure he won't give me a copy of his SSC to send them, or his DL - he feels it's thier job to keep that stuff straight, and if they can't do it themselves, he'll go straight to threatening lawsuits and such. I'm afraid that doing something like that right off the bat will only make it more difficult to get the problem resolved. He knows that the credit report is merged with mine, but I'm hoping he stays out of it, or at least just works on his own report, because he can (and has) make things worse just because of his temper.

That's a great idea to send a copy of my SSC though - I'll definately do that, and my driver's license. It has my pic on it, which "proves" I'm not a guy - he's obviously listed as a male, so hopefully that right there will help a lot.

I can't *wait* to get married...when I change my last name, it will be so much easier! (yeah, I know that actually changing your last name is a pain in the butt - but I still can't wait to get a name other than my dad's) LOL

    Bookmark   June 25, 2003 at 4:32PM
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two folks at work recently have changed their name when they married, and I have the impression it wasn't as big a pain in the butt as I expected it to be!

    Bookmark   June 26, 2003 at 10:18AM
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Hi Jamie,

Changing your name on marriage a pain in the butt?

First I heard of it.

Just refer to yourself everywhere by your married name, after your marriage. In this jurisdiction, at least.

Check with your State Department of Vital Statistics, or whatever it's called in your area. Begin at the place that you go to get a marriage licence.

Some common-law people just begin to use their partner's last name, but it's rather thin ice: they'd be better off to change name officially. Which is not a big deal, in this jurisdiction, and not too expensive.

Or - one can be like my daughter, who chose to continue to use her birth name throughout her 5-year marriage.

Neither of the last two alternatives of interest to you.

I hope that you can keep things on as warm a basis as possible with your Dad - give you a few years and I expect that you may well be thankful that you did.


ole Ed

    Bookmark   July 8, 2003 at 6:33PM
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Glad to hear it Tally Sue. :-) Ed, My relationship with Dad is just fine, thank you - he understands the name problem, because it affects *his* credit report as well. This is a man who legally *dropped* his first name and took his middle because his first was the same as *his* dad's (though he did it out of spite - didn't get along with his dad). So he understands and sympathizes with my "pain". :-)

I want my name legally changed - passport, social security, banks, licenses, etc - the whole shebang. Not *just* to get rid of my dad's last name (that will be a major bonus), but because I want my husband's name and mine to be the same for various personal reasons. So the pain in the butt part is remembering which to change first so that the others aren't difficult to change. I'm seriously thinking of getting one of those name-change kits for brides...all the paper work included, and a list of which ones to change first. LOL

    Bookmark   July 8, 2003 at 6:54PM
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For a woman, changing your name with marriage is incredibly easy. All you do is fill it out on the marriage license and it is officially changed. After that, it is just s matter of showing that license to whereever you want it updated.

My wife and I both changed are last names as we got married. She just got to change over with the marriage. I had to get fingerprinted, fbi background checked, go to court twice, and run an add in the paper for creditors all before the wedding so I could get the new name on the marriage license.

    Bookmark   July 9, 2003 at 10:41AM
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Geez, Bill - glad I'm not a guy! :-)

I've had several friends marry over the course of my life - all of them (females) said it was a lot of work and paperwork to change thier names. So I was just going on thier experience...I truely hope it's as easy as you all say it is (after which I will have to tease my friends unmercifully). LOL

    Bookmark   July 9, 2003 at 11:16AM
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Talk to your local office that deals with births, marriages and deaths.

Talk to a clergyperson.

They should be able to fill you in on the essentials.

It should be quite easy - assuming you plan to take on your new husband's surname.

"Future" husband, that is, as different from contrasted with "old" or "former" husband.

Good wishes for the rest of summer,

ole joyful

    Bookmark   July 10, 2003 at 8:59PM
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It's not that changing your name is a pain in the butt. That part is easy--most states' marriage-license forms have a really easy "fill in the blank" format for it.

What IS a pain is the NOTIFYING everyone of it! That's where having all your finances organized will help. First thing is to notify the Social Security Administration (they notify the IRS). Then you start w/ your employer and work your way through everyone you do business with. Having all those addresses available to you (like in a filing cabinet) will make it easier to address the envelopes for your form letter.

Jamie, drop me an e-mail, and I'll send you the story we did on it if you want it.

    Bookmark   July 11, 2003 at 3:54PM
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Here's how I changed my name. As others have said, your name is changed once the marriage certificate is filed. You need to get a certified copy of your marriage certificate. The certified copy has a raised stamp on it, so you can't just make your own copy. I went down to the town hall of the municipality where we got married and paid $5 for the certified copy. Then I took that baby down to the DMV (division of motor vehicles) and got a new driver's license and registration card. Then I mailed the certified copy to the Social Security Administration. Several weeks later I received a new social security card and the returned marriage certificate (which is the only copy of the marriage certificate that I have.) They didn't require me to hand in the old SS card (I still have it.) I never notified the IRS. DH and I just filed "married filing jointly" for the year that we got married, and my SS# didn't change, and that's how the IRS identifies you anyway (you're a number, not a name to them.) The rest of the creditors were easy: I just told them I got married, and to add my new name onto the end of my old name. Maybe it was easy for me because I kept my old surname and made it my middle name. (I felt like I wanted to keep some of my old identity, which includes family ties.) But, the thing with the creditors (like SallieMae, which services my student loans) is that they have your social security number, so once again, your tied to that more than your name anyway. From what I recall, I literally just called all these people up and told them to use the new name on all future correspondences. Hope it's as easy for you.

BTW, how did the disputing work out?

    Bookmark   July 12, 2003 at 5:15PM
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Thanks, Tally Sue - I'll drop you a note. :-)

Windchime, well, I pulled the reports, found the one that has the misinformation on it, and that's as far as I've gotten. I just got so busy all of a sudden I didn't have time to sit and write the letter! That's on my "to do" list for Friday of this week...I *have* to get this started!!

    Bookmark   July 14, 2003 at 1:08PM
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Hi all,

Rumour has it (I can't confirm it) that if you go to jail, you're dealt with by number there, as well.

Don't know if they use your Social Security number - but there is a "security" component to their situation.

By the way, Jamie - I think that there may be substantial differences in name change procedures from state to state, as well.

Have an interesting summer - keep your mind open and learn some new stuff.

Life being as fast-moving as it is these days, a new string on our violin that we begin to prepare today may be very helpful in ten years - might even be the foundation of a new job, if the field that we're in evaporates.

How do you like that for mixing metaphors in mid-stream - or is it changing horses in mid-stream that may lead to problems?

Oh, well.

joyful guy

    Bookmark   July 14, 2003 at 4:45PM
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I was married 17 years ago, divorced 2 years ago. When I married I took my ex's last name, but never changed it with social security. I am trying to figure out a way to try and recover from the extensive damage done to my credit by any means necessary. Although the history is mine could I possibly dispute the information based on the discrepancy in the ss#?

    Bookmark   July 2, 2011 at 12:21AM
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Amber, you admit that the SSN is yours and that the information is correct? No, to dispute the information would be wrong and fraud on your part.

    Bookmark   July 2, 2011 at 11:39AM
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