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Topics addressed on March 4, 2009:
Stopping preapproved credit offers addressed to deceased son
My son passed away in April. I need some advice and am hoping you can help me out. I keep getting credit stuff for him in the mail. How do I let the credit bureaus know that he is deceased as I do not want anyone trying to use his identity? Please, if at all possible, let me know where to start.
If your son had any credit cards, you simply need to notify the creditors, and they will report the accounts as belonging to a deceased individual when they send their account updates. If you have notified the Social Security Administration that he is deceased, Experian will obtain the list of deceased SSNs from them and add an indicator to your son’s credit file.
If neither situation is appropriate for you, you can mail a copy of your son’s death certificate with his identifying information to each of the credit reporting companies. They will use that information to add a deceased indicator to their credit files.
As soon as any one of those indicators is present, his name will be removed from future lists for preapproved credit offers.
Keep in mind that mailing lists for preapproved credit offers are typically processed several months before the offer is actually mailed, so it could be up to 6 months before you receive the last offer.
You should also visit the Direct Marketing Association web site and opt him out of other product marketing lists. You may need to contact companies with which he had an existing relationship directly and ask that he be removed from their mailing lists. That also applies to charitable and political organizations, which are exempt from the national Do Not Call and Do Not Mail lists.
I am so sorry for such a terrible loss in your life.
Thanks for asking.
- The "Ask Experian" team