The first step to fix the issue is to identify why your personal information doesn’t match the credit bureau record. Your records could be missing; you changed your address or name without informing the bureau, or there was simply a typo error. Based on the cause, you can establish records or correct any other error through your creditors.
You might have received a message from the free score site that your personal information doesn’t match your credit bureau records. The first reaction will be to understand why it happened and, of course, look for ways to fix it. Failure to which, Credit Karma will not give you a free score, and you will also have issues getting services from lenders.
So, to be on the safe side, act immediately to identify the root cause of the problem and then fix the issue accordingly.
Why Your Personal Information Doesn’t Match With Credit Bureau Records?
Various reasons could cause a mismatch in your personal information. Here we will discuss the main causes and show you the proper ways to fix them:
If you are trying to get a credit report online and have not established your records before, you will get an error that there is no match of your personal information. Data cannot appear with the agency until you initiate a borrowing relationship.
For credit bureaus to have your information, apply and open a borrowing account with a lender. They will then forward the same through:
New Trade Line: Communicates information on your identity, the date you opened the account, account type, the amount you owe, and your payment status.
Hard Inquiry: Communicate your name, social security number, address, and personal identifying information such as date of birth.
The bureau use software that combines data from various sources to make a single record. So, if the software detects widely differing data, it will flag your account. If you therefore inquire, the report will not be generated. The error will be a mismatch of your personal information with that found in the bureau’s system.
Though some variations are within an acceptable range, the software uses confidence intervals below which your report will not be generated.
Your information might differ due to:
1. Inconsistently presenting your names, e.g. using generation codes (senior, junior, etc.) and nicknames (for instance, Mike instead of Michael)
2. Transposed digits on date of birth, social security numbers, and other typing errors.
3. Variation in address, for instance, missing street directional (East, west, south, north), apartment number, or P.O. boxes.
Unless there is a clerical error, your social security number and birthday will not change. However, there are some instances where your name and address change. This is explained below:
Change Of Address
Whenever you relocate, your address changes. If you do not inform the bureau through the agency of the changes sooner or later, the system will detect the discrepancy. Some slight variations might be clear, and the records will be generated. For murky variations, there will be an error.
Murky: There is a discrepancy in date of birth, name, and social security number
Clear: There is an address change but the date of birth, name, and social security number are precisely the same.
Change Of Name
There will be data inconsistency when you change your name, which is not reflected in the bureau.
Some instances that may necessitate name change include:
1. Marriage or divorce where women have to change their surname: Though the bureau may make an educated guess that it could be the same person, sometimes it could result in an error when generating credit reports.
2. Some people, e.g. Hispanics, use two surnames based on their traditions. If they decide to drop one surname, it can create an accuracy dilemma with the bureau.
How To Fix Issues Related To Mismatch Of Your Personal Information With Those Of Credit Bureau Records
After identifying what causes the error in the credit card bureau on your personal information, you can easily fix it by following the steps below:
If you have identified that your records are missing and thus your credit report cannot be generated, you will have to establish your file with the lending institutions. Your information can only be up to date if the credit agencies have your records as you cannot match to non-existing files.
Take the following proactive steps to establish your records with credit agencies:
1. Build a record by communicating rent payments and utility bills to credit bureaus
2. Request for a secured credit card from a well-recognized bank
3. If you have no credit, open a first-time installment loan
If you noted the anomalies with your personal information, correct the same through your creditors. Creditors will then update the same with the bureaus. First, try to identify the source of any irregularities by getting print-out statements from your lenders. Verify that all the information from the lenders is consistent and, if not, correct it.
Here are the key things that should be consistent:
1. First, middle and surname are matching and listed in the same order
2. Apartment number, street name, state, city, and zip code match
If you examine the statements and there are no apparent differences in your personal information, call credit bureau customer service to verify the date of birth and social security numbers on their file. They will guide you on how to correct any anomalies.
Why Do My Credit Reports Not Match?
Your credit reports might not match since not all lenders will forward your credit information to all three bureaus. Some lenders may forward your credit information only to one or two agencies, while others may choose to report to all three major ones. In other cases, small lenders do not report your credit history to any of the agencies.
As a result, there will be variations in the credit reports generated by the different credit bureau. There will be some missing information in one, two, or all agencies. The missing data may work to your advantage or against you.
So, depending on the situation, if the missing information is relating to a good credit account, you can request the lender to forward the same to the bureaus. Nonetheless, the creditors have no direct obligation to process your request as there is some cost involved in setting up each account with the credit agencies. If they deny, too bad for you, look for another way to improve your credit ratings.
Can Your Credit Rating Be Affected By Your Address?
Changing addresses now and then can raise suspicion among the lenders making it somewhat difficult to secure credit. It can also affect your credit ratings, but if you change your address in the electoral roll immediately you move, the effect will be minimal.
So, if you do not have a fixed address, it is prudent to use your family member’s permanent address until you are settled. Remind your family to always forward all the mails to you and use the registered address to apply for credit.
How Do I Update My Information With The Credit Bureau?
If you want to update your credit records, whether it is a change of name, address, or employer, you should do so through your creditors. The creditors normally send updates to the bureau every month, and during their next reporting, they will send your new information to credit agencies. The bureaus will then update your information in their system. The changes might take a long if creditors take more days to forward the same.
Why Can’t The Credit Agency Verify My Identity?
A credit agency may not be able to verify your identity due to various reasons listed below:
1. The agency cannot match your personal information such as social security number, name, and current address to their existing records. Either they do not have your file, or the information you provided is wrong.
2. You answered the authentication question wrongly
3. The agency has frozen your credit account
4. IP address issues that you can address by using a different device, opening the app in a different location, using cellular data instead of a Wi-Fi connection.
5. You requested for credit report using an international phone number or address. The credit application form system doesn’t support such.
6. You are not connected to a U.S. IP address, i.e. you are outside of the U.S. So unless you have access to a valid U.S. IP while staying outside the country, you cannot access your credit report.
How To Troubleshoot Errors Relating To Identity Verification With The Credit Bureau
If you believe there is an error in your identity verification with a credit agency, troubleshoot by following the steps below:
Step 1: Use your full legal name, avoid name abbreviations or legal names, e.g. enter Michael instead of Mike
Step 2: Double-check your zip code and address. If you have just moved to a new location, try using the old address.
Step 3: Try using your social security number as a way to verify your identity.
Step 4: If all fails, call credit agency customer care and follow their guidance.
If your personal information doesn’t match with credit bureau records, don’t worry. Either you have no file with the agency, or there is an error relating to your personal information. Identify the issue by getting statements from all your lenders and fix them by establishing records or correcting the error through your creditors.
References: 1 https://www.growingfamilybenefits.com/personal-information-match-credit/
References: 2 https://support.creditkarma.com/s/article/I-m-having-trouble-signing-up-for-Credit-Karma-US
Last Updated on August 3, 2022 by Ana S. Sutterfield
Magalie D. is a Diploma holder in Public Administration & Management from McGill University of Canada. She shares management tips here in MGTBlog when she has nothing to do and gets some free time after working in a multinational company at Toronto.