Posts by experian.team:

Credit challenges when a father and son share the same name

Dear Experian,

I am writing from an employee assistance program company. We help employees find answers and resources to deal with various personal problems. An employee from one of our client companies has the same name as his father. The son and father are having their credit information intermixed. How can they get this corrected, and is there anything they can do to help prevent this from happening in the future?

– IMB

Why a credit score by itself is meaningless

Dear Experian,

I have a credit report and a score of 785. So what? I haven’t been able to ascertain what the “grading scale” is. Any help?

– STO

Getting married when your girlfriend has declared bankruptcy twice

Dear Experian,

I’m planning to ask my girlfriend to marry me. However, I just found out she has filed for both chapter 7 bankruptcy, in 2000, and chapter 13 bankruptcy, in 2008. I’ve been told this not good for our future and that it will affect my credit if we do get married. Any insight would be helpful.

– CWC

Who is notified when your credit file is frozen

Dear Experian,

I have a credit freeze. If someone tries to establish credit without my pin code, what is the exact response they get from you? Do you tell them that they can not establish new credit because the account is frozen?

– HEV

Changing name when married won’t link you to his bad credit

Dear Experian,

I’m getting married next week and am wondering if I should take my husband’s last name. His credit is not quite good, while mine is very good. If I take his last name, what will happen to my credit history? Should I have a joint account with my husband? What is the best way for me to protect myself from having problems from changing my last name?

– BBY

Credit report may be hurt by joint lease, utilities with roommates

Dear Experian,

My daughter is in the process of looking for a new apartment and obtained a copy of her credit report. She found her credit is “fair.” She also found her roommate’s name, Social Security number, rental history and other information listed on the report. This was quite shocking to my daughter. She is very upset. They each signed a year’s lease which expired a few months, ago. They are now on a month-to-month basis. She knows her roommate is frequently delinquent on her bills. In particular, she knows this is true in regard to their monthly rent. My daughter pays her portion on time.

Why is my daughter’s roommate listed on my daughter’s credit report? What part of the roommate’s financial life, if any, comes into play on my daughter’s credit score? How long will the roommate’s financial history and habits reflect on my daughter’s report? How can my daughter become a single entity as far as her credit is concerned?

– RBH

Responding to a security notice for a frozen credit file

Dear Experian,

We have frozen our credit with you. We just received a letter from you saying that there has been a change in the name, Social Security number, or address in our credit report. Are we in any danger of identity theft since we have already frozen our credit? We don’t want to order another credit report, so is there a way to speak to someone to find out what the problem is?

– RRO

There is no limit on the number of credit cards you can have

Dear Experian,

How many credit cards can I have? I have eight credit cards. I opened all of them within the last year (total $6,500), plus a loan for a car ($16,000). I am a housewife. My husband pays all my bills on time, but he keeps asking me to get new credit cards. I wonder if it’s damaging my credit history or my credit score. Also, is it shown on my credit report if I apply for a credit card and I do not get approved?

– ARY

Husbands and wives each have their own credit report

Dear Experian,

My husband and I are thinking about purchasing a car. I just printed out my credit report from Experian. Should my husband check his as well? Should we buy a copy of our credit scores as well before we shop for a car? Since we live in a community property state, do we share a credit score? Also, how will purchasing a car affect our credit score? We will be buying a pre-owned vehicle. This is the first time I’ve gotten a copy of my credit report.

– YPE

The effect of fraud security alerts on credit scores

Dear Experian,

I was recently notified by a college that I attended that the admissions office computer files had been hacked into and that I should notify all three major credit bureaus to flag my credit history in case of identity theft. Does this “flagging ” of my credit affect my FICO score?
– LBS

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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.