Credit Reports: Are You on the VIP List?

Credit Reports: Are You on the VIP List?

Did you know that the three major credit bureaus maintain a VIP list of people who get preferential treatment when it comes to fixing credit report errors? Neither did I but, according to the NY Times, it’s true.

This magical list apparently contains “celebrities, politicians, judges and other influential people, ” and those on this list get special help from real people who investigate the problem and bring it to a quick resolution. As for the rest of us, we’re dumped into a largely automated system where overseas subcontractors distill our problem down into a three digit computer code and forward the complaint to the creditor.

While I’ve never had a problem correcting an error on my credit report, I’ve never had to deal with anything more than an old (closed) account that was still showing up as open and active. But others have dealt with more serious issues, and at times have had real trouble getting their problems addressed.

Consider, for example, the case of Judy Johnson from Louisiana. Poor Judy’s credit file was confused with that of the much-less-creditworthy Judith Johnson, who had a similar address and Social Security number. Judy has spent seven years trying to straighten out the mess, but it keeps cropping back up. She even sued one of the bureaus and received an undisclosed settlement, but the problems still persist.

For their part, TransUnion claims that all consumers “have the ability to speak to a live representative, ” Equifax says that consumers who request a free credit report are given a customer service number, and Experian has denied the existence of a VIP list entirely. Nonetheless, the Times is sticking by their story.

What about you? Have you ever had trouble with errors on your credit report? If so, were they difficult to correct? Please share your stories in the comments section.


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4 Responses to “Credit Reports: Are You on the VIP List?”

  1. Anonymous

    I have a head cold and hence may be thinking less clearly than usual. But, as I read your newsletter, I would need a higher endowment if I withdrew 3% per year as opposed to 4% per year? This doesn’t make sense to me.

  2. Anonymous

    I had a problem with Experian. Got Denied credit and pulled my report to find the problem, and found that they had merged someone else’s file into mine base upon 3 of 4 digits of the SSN. All of his accounts were either in collections or written off or way past 90 days due. Spent several hours pouring over the report and hilighting errors. Called experian and had to go thru the phone options for about 5 mins, before getting connected to a live Rep. After confirming I was who I said I was she deleted the other persons personal info from the account and all the accounts pertaining to him fell off. She took my e-mail and I received notification of the action taken and a new credit report. Overall the correction was quick, but still the error was all their fault. The worst part is that I checked my Credit report about 8 months earlier thru my free annual credit report and all was correct. Lastly I would guess that this happens so you will purchase their monthly credit monitoring service.

  3. Anonymous

    I’m sure that all three make it a point to say that the “regular people” have resources in case they need them. I would be curious as to what the benchmarks are in regards to how quickly everyday consumers can get through to a live rep, how fast the process takes from first call to eventual removal, and how many times it takes to call and push for a resolution or a response.

    And I’m sure the VIPs get to speak to people in the US. Lots of companies talk a lot in order to justify their positions or actions just like this

  4. Anonymous

    I’ve had trouble getting things off of my credit report before, and it was when I was trying to apply for a home loan, so time was of the essence. I felt like I was talking to a system, never a person who really cared how (or even if) my problem was resolved. It took a lot of paperwork on my part, but I eventually got the mistaken account off of my report. I had another problem (a late fee that was incorrect) that I couldn’t get removed after months of trying. I finally just gave up, my credit score was in the high 700’s, so I just added a comment and figured high 700’s was good enough for just about anything I would need.

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