Check Your Name on Your Credit Report

Are you overlooking an important step in building an accurate credit profile? Many people are.

Maybe no one has ever told you that your name matters, or that the name you use when applying for credit is important. I’ll explain.

Let’s say your name is Carolyn Warren. But one time when you got a credit card at Macy’s, the clerk typed in Carolynn with two n’s. And another time while getting a car loan, the finance guy shortened your name to Carol.

Now you’ve got credit for a Carolyn Warren, a Carolynn Warren, and a Carol Warren on your credit report.

These three name variations can cause problems. (And we’re not even counting the variations of the middle name or misspellings of the last name.) You don’t want the Carol Warren who was late on her Macy’s card reporting you as being late. Nor do you want the Carolynn Warren’s auto repo showing up on your credit report.

One time, I saw a credit report where the woman had 16 variations of her name. Not good!

You want only one legal name on your credit report: the one you are using for important purchases, such as your mortgage and your automobile. If your legal name is Carolyn N Warren, that is the only name you want to see on your credit report.

This was confirmed at CreditCon 2020 earlier this month. Three different professional speakers (a representative from one of the credit bureaus, an expert witness in court cases involving credit, and a successful credit repair business owner) all spoke about the importance of having correct and accurate identifiers on your profile. Your name is one of the identifiers.

Three Reasons Why You Should Remove Incorrect Names

1) Name variations open the door to having your credit mixed with another individual’s credit. “Mixed files” is a major problem that can ruin your credit score and put your debt ratio out of acceptance when buying a home.

2) If you have many variations of your name, it opens the door to the question “why?” There is no positive answer to that question.

Were you trying to open credit cards in name variations to circumvent credit scrutiny? Were you trying to hide bad credit? Were you trying to create multiple identities? Are you simply sloppy and careless about your name? And if so, are you also sloppy and careless about paying your bills on time?

3) Having too many names on your credit profile can negatively impact your score. You’ve never seen that on a pie chart of credit scores, but let me tell you a secret from inside the credit business. All three credit experts mentioned above confirmed that personal identifiers do impact your credit score.

The next time you order your free annual credit report, take time to look at your name. If there are misspellings, nicknames, or other inaccuracies, you want to write to the credit bureaus and get that fixed.

And while you’re at it, check your name on your cell phone bill, your electric bill, TV/Internet bill, and your bank accounts for consistency and accuracy. Fix what needs to be fixed. Create a true and accurate profile for yourself.

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“A good name is rather to be chosen than great riches.” ~ Proverbs 22:1

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