Personal Finance: Does your lender think YOU’RE DEAD?

| June 9, 2015 | More

We’ve all had negative experiences with borrowing money, whether we hated the feeling of being in debt or found ourselves unable to take out a loan in the first place. However, as long as you’re breathing, you probably don’t expect your credit issues to hinge on your demise. Unfortunately, for thousands of consumers each year, this is a real problem. The issue is not that they’re actually dead; it’s that the credit bureaus believe they are. Not surprisingly, reports of your own death, no matter how greatly exaggerated, pose a real stumbling block when you are attempting to take out a loan.

So why might a credit bureau decide that you have died when you’re still very much alive and kicking? Often, it is simply a case of mistaken identity. Perhaps someone with your name did die, or a file number got mixed up. Other times, the issue is that your identity was stolen and successfully used to take out some sort of loan and then the thief died or reported themselves (or you) dead. No matter the reason, you are probably not getting a loan until you get the situation rectified[1].

While you might think just giving the credit card company a ring and speaking with them should be enough to let them know you’re still breathing, you probably have already guessed that this won’t be enough. You’ll need to not only provide them with verbal confirmation, but also show a current driver’s license, recent tax returns, and probably a utility bill. At that point, hopefully they’ll correct your status, but you will likely have to follow up and even revisit the issue in the future. Of course, if your “death” is the result of identity theft, you’ll also need to put out fraud alerts on your profile to hopefully identify any other outstanding debts you may be facing.

Have you ever been reported dead by a credit bureau?

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About the Author (Author Profile)

Carole Ellis is editor in chief of the Bryan Ellis Investing Letter. Under Carole’s leadership, the Bryan Ellis Investing Letter has grown to over 700,000 subscribers, making it one of the largest real estate newsletters in the world. Each day, Carole directly impacts the daily thinking and conversations of real estate investors worldwide by providing thought-provoking analysis and commentary on news topics relevant to serious real estate investors.

Carole has a strong background in research and in the management of respected publications. She holds a degree in English Literature from the University of Georgia, and has substantial research experience in plant biology. She is the former editor of and writer for the University of Georgia’s Research Magazine. She’s also the author of hundreds of articles and multiple books and home study courses published under the names of her clients, many of whom are well known, highly respected real estate entrepreneurs as well.

Carole makes her home in Kennesaw, Georgia with her husband Bryan and 4 children.

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Category: Personal Finance