1,000 People Are Mistakenly Declared Dead by Their Creditors Every Month
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- By Stacey Bumpus
- October 3, 2012
Thousands of consumers are finding that they can’t get a loan from banks each year due to a major error found on their credit reports. What is this massive mistake? According to recent reports, the Social Security Administration, along with banks and credit bureaus are mistakenly declaring consumers dead.
Being declared dead can damage consumers’ credit history and stop their chances of ever acquiring a loan or credit card. In a few steps, you can not only catch, but fix this terrible error by opting to dispute credit report data.
Inaccurate Credit Reports Keep Loans From Reach
Recent government estimates have revealed about 1,000 people per month are mistakenly declared dead by a number of entities, including the Social Security Administration, the big three credit bureaus (Equifax, Experian and TransUnion), banks and credit card issuers.
The reason behind the erroneous credit reports is a bit of a mystery, but there’s no doubt that it has a massive impact on the lives of those affected.
The main reason that being declared dead is so problematic is the inability consumers have to acquire a loan, credit card, or even job, as a result. Once you are declared deceased, your credit history is locked down, meaning you no longer have a credit score, and no one — including lenders and credit card issuers — can access your credit history.
Not Dead? Dispute Credit Report Information
In order to avoid being affected by this common mistake, consumers need to proactively catch the problem and fix it early. Many consumers learn that they’ve been declared deceased when applying for a loan; however, if you regularly monitor your credit reports, you can dispute credit report claims before even seeking out a line of credit.
- Contact mistake initiator: You may need to call around to various entities to determine who originated the claim that you’ve died, then submit proper documentation to show you are not deceased.
- Submit a credit dispute: It’s important to dispute credit report errors by submitting the appropriate forms to the credit bureaus who have mistaken you for dead.
- Be persistent: Resolving the issue may require your own persistence in the form of hours spent calling banks, credit bureaus and more to correct your records.
Credit bureaus are required to take only 30 days to investigate mistakes upon receiving a request to dispute credit report data, under the Fair Credit Reporting Act, which means the sooner you catch the issue, the sooner you will be able to fix it. Being declared dead on credit reports can be detrimental for consumers and is a great inconvenience, but correcting the issue is straightforward and not as time consuming as it seems.