Credit Report Special Messages

Consumer access to credit reports has made knowing what is being reported about you a lot easier than it used to be but, one thing your credit reports won’t show you are the special messages your lender gets on their credit reports.

Usually located below the reports themselves are messages that your lender will see on their credit reports giving them additional information about you and warning them of any possible suspicious activity.

These messages include information which can stop you from getting approved for a loan.

Since you do not have access to lender reports and the credit reports you have access to omit this information, let’s go over these 5 messages to see if there is anything that you may need to address before applying for a loan.

1. ID Mismatch Alert
This message appears when the inputted address, social security number or last name does not match the information on file with the credit reporting agencies.

What does this mean?
To a lender, this means that you may have recently moved, got married, or are at risk for Identity Theft. At this point, the lender may request more documentation as proof of your residency in the form of utility bills, 2 most recent paycheck stubs, most recent bank statement, and rental or mortgage agreement. As well as proof of your identity in the form of your social security card, ID, or birth certificate.

What to do?
Make sure that the name, address, and social security number that you have given the lender are 100% correct and that the information is reporting in your credit reports. If you have recently moved or changed your name, update the information with your lenders and credit bureaus and give them enough time (30-60 days) to update the information in your credit file.

2. High-Risk Fraud Alert
This message appears if the inputted address, social security number or phone number that you have provided your lender have been recently used in suspected fraudulent activity.

What does this mean?
This means that either your home address is being reported as a commercial or business address, that your social security number belongs to someone who is deceased or that your social was never actually issued by the Social Security Administration.

What to do?
Make sure that your home address is not linked to a business. If you’re operating a business get a PO Box or UPS Store box and get a proper business address. Make sure that your social security number is legitimate and correct. If there is an issue with the social security number contact the Social Security Administration to resolve the issue.

3. SSN Year of Issuance
This message reports the state where your social security number was issued as well as either the year or the range of years when the social security number was issued as well as your age when the social security number was issued.

4. OFAC Name Screen
This message reports the result of your information being cross-checked against the U.S. Treasury Department’s OFAC (Office of Foreign Assets Control) database.

What does this mean?
In most cases the result will return no matches but, if the system designates you as a person who is on the OFAC list, you will be turned down for your loan. Point blank. The OFAC database contains persons who are drug traffickers, money launderers, terrorists, and other SDNs (Specially Designated Individuals) who not allowed to do business within the United States or who have economic sanctions against them.

What to do?
If you find an OFAC alert pop up on your credit report due to a case of mistaken identity, contact the credit reporting agencies. In most cases, the OFAC search only checks names, not other identifying information such as date of birth, social security number, etc… so contacting the U.S. Treasury Department won’t be much help. Contact the credit bureaus and request that the alert is removed from your credit file. If the credit reporting agency refuses to do so, contact an attorney with experience in resolving FCRA (Fair Credit Reporting Act) cases.

5. Fraud Alert
This alert, usually consumer initiated, means that your credit may be at risk for identity theft and additional steps will need to be taken by the lender to verify your identity. These steps usually include calling a phone number which you included when filing your Fraud Alert. Once the lender contacts you and confirms that you are the actual person initiating the application, the loan can proceed.

6. Hawk Alert
This alert is generated if the credit reporting agencies suspect potential fraudulent activity.

What does this mean?
The alert is typically generated when the residential address or telephone number which you input on your application for a loan is also listed as a business address or business phone number. The alert is also generated if the social security number that you are using on your application was issued less than 24 months ago or shows that the owner of the social security number is deceased.

What to do?
Make sure that your home address and phone number are not linked to a business. If you’re operating a business get a PO Box or UPS Store box to get a proper business address and get a separate phone number for your business. If your social security number was issued less than 24 months ago you’ll just have to wait it out and put up with a little bit of hassle from lenders requesting additional documentation to verify your identity. If your social lists you as deceased, contact the credit reporting agencies to straighten things out and prove that you’re still alive and kicking. You may have to get a letter from the social security administration stating that the social belongs to you and has never been issues for anyone else.

The most important point that we want to make is that most of these alerts are there for your safety and protection. They may cause you a headache every now and then but, if you take action, you can get these issues resolved before they cause you too much pain.