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URL:  https://boards.fool.com/cattleman22-you-wrote-for-what-it-is-worth-we-34282613.aspx

Subject:  Re: Ever heard of the 30% rule? FICO Date:  8/27/2019  11:00 PM
Author:  joelcorley Number:  312621 of 312702

cattleman22,

You wrote, For what it is worth, we have never identified any errors in our free credit histories.

I've found exactly one.

But I've had to fix / fight a few before I could get reports for free!

Once back in the '80s my ex and I spent half a day at a local TRW (now Equifax) office waiting in a queue so a rep would see us. I think we'd both been denied on a credit card application, so I had only paid by having my credit report dinged by a hard pull and a subsequent denial. I don't think I even knew what a CRA was until that incident much less the FCRA.

The rep came out with cryptic, coded reports on 14" (wide) computer (probably mainframe) printer paper. My ex's report had stuff on it from her mother (intentional, sort of; not that her mother asked for permission and not that her mother's payment history was spotless either) and from some third person. How they mixed that third person up with her I have no idea since they had different names and SSNs. I recall my own report had a few minor mistakes; but we must have spent at least an hour with the rep just on my ex's report.

That was the only time a CRA had us come into their office. After that it became increasingly difficult to even get a human on the phone. I remember paying to pull my credit report and my ex's back in the late '90s when I was going to refinance my house for the second time (second refi that is). That's when I discovered she had started putting me on accounts she was opening without my knowledge. Worse the lenders were listing me as a co-owner. I spent a couple of *months* in those fights. At one point in a fight with Dillard's (they had denied my dispute despite the fact that they lacked my signature on anything, so I decided to send the CRAs copies of my correspondence too) I accused them of fraudulent misrepresentation that was going to cost me real money and threatened them with litigation. The correspondence must have done a trick my phone calls couldn't - they backed down, struck the record from my report and withdrew my name from the ex's account. (Actually Dillard's closed my ex's account too. :-)

That same report showed a delinquent account with a local urgent care facility. I was never notified of being delinquent. Moreover I was pretty sure that never happened since in recent years I had become quite diligent in following up paying those types of bills over the phone with a credit card as soon as the adjusted bill or EOB showed up. I got nowhere over the phone, so I went to their office and camped out until the clerk could see me. I had her pull my physical file and show me her records. I came in with credit card statements showing payments to them and wanted her to account for each payment. In the process she pulled a couple of adjacent files. Apparently she had misfiled the credit card payment receipt and had sent the bill off to collections by mistake. She apologized profusely and had the file pulled from the collection agent and the record from the CRAs pretty promptly.

BTW, that fight in the late '90s made me feel rather empowered. I realized that even though I was getting xxx'ed around (fill in your own expletive) by the CRAs, I didn't always have to just take it and to some extent I could fight back.

- Joel
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