The difference between the three national CRAs and credit scores

Posted on Sep 10 2013 by

Dear Experian,

What are the differences between the three national credit reporting agencies: Experian, Equifax and Trans Union? Is the credit reporting different, and why are the credit scores different?

– XOB

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Who is notified when your credit file is frozen

Posted on Sep 10 2013 by

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

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Fraud alert may slow loan approval but shouldn’t prevent it

Posted on Sep 10 2013 by

Dear Experian,

I recently lost my wallet, which contained my ATM card and my driver’s license. Although the card was cancelled within an hour of being lost, the person made one successful purchase with it. My concern is that they now have my driver’s license, which did not have my Social Security number on it. I understand that I can flag my SSN with the credit bureaus to report any fraudulent activity. Although I have a credit rating in the 800’s, will this flag prevent me from obtaining a car loan that I will be seeking in the near future? Is this flag something you would recommend even though my Social Security number wasn’t on my license?

– AAR

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

Posted on Sep 10 2013 by

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

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The difference between default and bankruptcy

Posted on Sep 10 2013 by

Dear Experian,

Which is the lesser of two evils, bankruptcy or default?

– DBU

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

Posted on Sep 10 2013 by

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

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Settling accounts will hurt credit scores

Posted on Sep 10 2013 by

Dear Experian,

I have an unsecured loan of $10,000 and the loan company has offered me a settlement of $5,000. It I take this settlement, will it affect my credit score?

– TPF

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Responding to a security notice for a frozen credit file

Posted on Sep 10 2013 by

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

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

Posted on Sep 10 2013 by

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

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Paying credit card debt with an installment loan

Posted on Sep 10 2013 by

Dear Experian,

Do I save money if I pay my credit cards off with a loan that has a lower APR with a fixed installment payment, or is it better to continue to pay the highest APR credit card until it is paid?

– MYR

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Husbands and wives each have their own credit report

Posted on Sep 10 2013 by

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

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Fraud security alerts can slow mortgage approval

Posted on Sep 10 2013 by

Dear Experian,

I recently placed a 90-day fraud security alert on my credit history though Experian. Will that affect my ability to be approved for a mortgage?
– ITR

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The effect of fraud security alerts on credit scores

Posted on Sep 10 2013 by

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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Reporting utility bill payments will be beneficial to consumers

Posted on Sep 10 2013 by

Dear Experian,

I got my credit report recently and was shocked to find that all of my monthly obligations were not listed, making my score very low. I pay my utility bills, Internet service provider, merchandise shipping contracts, telephone, cable television, and rent on time every month, and I have an open Paypal/Ebay account. If these were listed I am sure that my report would look more favorable. How can I get these items onto my reports so that a future lenders looking at my credit profile for a home loan will know that I am an honest hard working person, paying her obligations as agreed?

– DST

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Deleting an account did not raise the credit score

Posted on Sep 10 2013 by

Dear Experian,

I recently had an account deleted from my credit report. Why didn’t my credit score go up?

– ENS

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How a minor may have a credit report

Posted on Sep 10 2013 by

Dear Experian,

I am teaching a class at a local high school about credit fraud. A teacher mentioned to me that her daughter, who is under 12 years of age, has credit according to one of the credit reporting companies. How is this possible?

– RDE

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Debt management plans and your credit report

Posted on Sep 10 2013 by

Dear Experian,

Companies can negotiate with credit card companies and reduce your interest rate. They close your cards and you pay them a flat amount each month that goes towards your cards. How does this affect your credit?

– YST

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PLUS Score, VantageScore available from Experian

Posted on Sep 10 2013 by

Dear Experian,

I know that a lender I’m about to approach will pull up my Experian Scorex PLUS score. It doesn’t seem available to me at experian.com or experianscorex.com. How can I view this score of mine before going to the lender? Or, do I just cross my fingers.

– LLI

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Why previous names appear on your credit report

Posted on Sep 10 2013 by

Dear Experian,

I am married for a second time. Can having my maiden name and two married names negatively affect my credit score? My “middle” score is 780 but I am trying to improve to 800 plus.

– TEV

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When roommates don’t pay their share of the rent

Posted on Sep 10 2013 by

Dear Experian,

I’m a college student, and today I was given an eviction notice because my roommates didn’t pay their rent on time. I was wondering what happens if they pay the amount they owe before our court date. Does it still go on my credit score? Do I have any options because I paid my rent on time?

– STO

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Using secured credit cards to improve credit history

Posted on Sep 10 2013 by

Dear Experian,

What is your opinion about using secured credit cards to improve credit history, especially if there is no current history (last entries were in 2004)?

– PAS

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Accounts are not removed immediately after bankruptcy

Posted on Sep 10 2013 by

Dear Experian,

I have completed my chapter 13 bankruptcy plan. How do I have the creditors names removed from my credit report?

– HNS

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What to do when items are stolen from your car

Posted on Sep 10 2013 by

Dear Experian,

Last night, a fairly sophisticated ring apparently swept through my neighborhood stealing from cars. Unfortunately, my wallet was stolen with my driver’s license, and yes, stupidly, my Social Security card.

Worse, an external hard drive was also taken that had tons of personal, financial information. While much of it was in a password protected document, there was also several years’ worth of statements from many of my accounts.

What is the best way to protect yourself if you feel someone may have every bit of information they would need including account numbers, Social Security numbers, etc? How can you feel secure beyond the initial 90 days?

– EER

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Collection account does not have to appear on your credit report to be legitimate

Posted on Sep 10 2013 by

Dear Experian,

I received a letter from a collection agency asking that I pay almost $3,000 for a debt that was originally a credit card opened in 1996. It seemed to come out of the blue, and when I called to get some bearings I was not given satisfactory answers or clarification. When I mentioned that this hasn’t been on my credit report they replied that they don’t report to the credit bureaus. Isn’t that what would make them legitimate? If they don’t report to the credit bureaus are they a legitimate company?

– JCK

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Settled account status more important than who closed the account

Posted on Sep 10 2013 by

Dear Experian,

How bad does it affect your credit when a creditor reports an account closed by consumer and settled for less then the balance owed?

– NIC

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