Monday, July 8, 2013

On credit checks...what's in a name?


The other day my brokerage's rental service center was running credit on potential tenants for one of my listings and the social security number of one of the candidates couldn't be verified.  On the one hand, her father is a co-applicant (and is going to co-sign the lease if everything works out), with very strong income, credit and his social security number was verified.   On the other hand, it is concerning when someone's social security number cannot be verified.
So over the weekend I reached out to the applicant, asked about her social security number, which I admit felt awkward, but no question is a bad question and I had a responsibility to get an understanding of the situation.   
What was the applicant's answer?  The applicant's mother, who is thankfully alive and well, has the same name (i.e. she was named after her mom).  Therefore, two social security numbers exist for the same/similar name and that is why the applicant's social security number couldn't be verified.  She did provide sufficient proof to me about her personal social security number. 
To close with an interesting anecdote, the applicant told me that she once ran a credit check on herself.  It claimed she had credit history beginning four years before she was born, which can only be explained by assuming her credit history had somehow been combined with parts of her mother's.
George Foreman's kids must have interesting credit reports :-0.
The first moral of this blog is if you are named after someone who is alive, it is quite possible that someone running your credit may not be able to verify your social security number due to confusion -- the credit bureau(s) see multiple people with the same name, which will be a red flag.  So, be prepared to verify if you are asked and please don't get offended by the question.  It is an awkward but necessary question to ask.  The second moral of the story is if you have the same name as somebody else, your credit history may be combined, mixed and matched.  So be prepared to explain that...particularly if in the credit check history shows up before your date of birth. 
If you or someone you know is thinking of relocating or has a real estate question, your first move should be contacting me.  I am here to help.
I greatly appreciate and always have time for your referrals.
Life is good!
Adam (301)943-4370
Adam Bashein
Licensed in MD & DC
Long & Foster Real Estate, Inc.
(301)469-4700 - ask for Adam

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