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Even God Has Credit Problems

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God lives in Brooklyn.

No, really. God Gazarov, New York resident, has been in the news lately because of a lawsuit over his credit history. Gazarov says credit reporting agency Equifax doesn’t accept his first name as legitimate, and, as a result, it falsely reports that he has no credit history. He said that snag prevented him from financing a car last year, according to The New York Post.

Gazarov has tried to resolve the issue with Equifax, but was unable to correct the problem and has now file a lawsuit against the credit bureau. In his suit, Gazarov alleges that an Equifax customer service representative told him to change his first name to get the issue fixed.

Gazarov, a 26-year-old jewelry store owner and graduate of Brooklyn College, is a Russian native named after his grandfather. Experian and TransUnion, the other major credit reporting agencies, have credit reports for Gazarov, and he said his credit scores from those bureaus are high.

But two out of three won’t do him any good if a lender is using a credit score based on an Equifax report. Borrowers never know which of the hundreds of scoring models a potential creditor will consult, which is why it’s important to verify the accuracy of all three major credit reports.

“It’s extremely frustrating,” Gazarov said to the Post. “I worked hard to get good credit to look good to lenders and this happens.”

Credit History Hang-Ups

Gazarov certainly isn’t the first person to have a frustrating experience with correcting credit report issues, but his is a unique story. People often run into problems like struggling to get errors removed from their reports or having information on their reports that belongs to someone with the same or a similar name.

As far as the more common issues go, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau started accepting complaints about credit reporting in October 2012, and about three-fourths of the submissions since then have involved inaccurate information on credit reports. About 11% of complaints expressed frustration with the dispute process.

Unfortunately, Gazarov doesn’t have a credit report to dispute with Equifax, hence the lawsuit. According to CBS New York, Equifax has responded to the situation with this statement:

“Equifax has processes in place to help ensure that businesses and individuals requesting access to credit are who they say they are. These processes flag standalone names that generally may not be associated with the valid openings of credit accounts. We are working with the consumer to make the necessary changes to his account.”

Pulling your free annual credit report from each of the major bureaus can help you spot errors early, before they cause problems in lending decisions. You may also want to monitor your credit scores, as any unexpected changes could signal errors on your report. You can get two of your credit scores every month for free on Credit.com

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