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Becoming a guarantor or joint account holder for son’s motorcycle loan

Dear Experian,

I want to help my son, a recent graduate, build good credit. He wants to buy a used motorcycle. I was willing to guarantee the personal loan, but the bank wants me to be a joint borrower. If I agree, it is not clear to me whether my son’s credit rating will improve as much as if I were just the guarantor. Which approach would produce the greatest benefit? Would being a joint borrower help my son’s credit score at all?


Individual Taxpayer ID number cannot be used in place of Social Security number

Dear Experian,

I’m trying to request a dispute on my credit report, but it asks me for a credit report number. I have tried to request my annual free report but I can’t since I don’t have a Social Security number. I do have an ITIN number but the system won’t accept it. What are my options?


Late payments continue to appear after declaring bankruptcy

Dear Experian,

How can I get late payments removed for items that were included in bankruptcy?


Opting out will not cause your credit report to disappear

Dear Experian,

I’ve recently been denied credit because my credit information is either missing or unavailable. Does this have anything to do with the fact that I elected to “opt out” years ago, and if so, how do I go about changing this?


Identity theft can land a fraudster in jail

Dear Experian,

Can a person actually go to jail for identity theft? I was just curious if someone can actually get in trouble for it, or if people just get away with it!


Sharing a merged report with a mortgage customer

Dear Experian,

Is it now OK to release a customer’s tri-merge report to the customer? The tri-merged report was pulled to apply for a home loan through the seller and broker.


Car accidents don’t affect your credit report

Dear Experian,

Does having a car accident hurt your credit score?


When you can get free credit reports

Dear Experian,

If I were denied credit recently, am I able to get a free copy of my credit to see what’s on it? I’ve already had my free credit report for this year.


Cosigners are responsible for debt repayment

Dear Experian,

I cosigned a loan with my son. He is not making payments, and it will be turned over to a collection agency soon. Other than this circumstance I have good credit and make all payments on time. How does this one instance affect my credit rating if it’s not my loan and I’m just the cosigner?


Impact of a short sale when your mortgage is not delinquent

Dear Experian,

With the declining value of property, sellers are caught in the position of having to short sale on properties for which the sellers are not delinquent. How does a short sale in which a person has never been delinquent report?


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The information contained in Ask Experian is for educational purposes only and is not legal advice. You should consult your own attorney or seek specific advice from a legal professional regarding your particular situation. Please understand that Experian policies change over time. Posts reflect Experian policy at the time of writing. While maintained for your information, archived posts may not reflect current Experian policy. The Ask Experian team cannot respond to each question individually. However, if your question is of interest to a wide audience of consumers, the Experian team will include it in a future post.