Should I Apply for Credit after Identity Theft

Applying for Credit

After and identity theft, many identity theft victims avoid applying for new credit.   These victims known that their credit reports include false information and inquiries from creditors that they never applied to for credit.  These errors lead many consumers to believe that they will automatically be denied creditor, and worried that they will be embarrassed about the poor state of their credit report or credit score.  But even if you have inaccuracies on your report, you should think twice before you avoid asking for new credit.  Do not avoid applying for credit if you would normally apply.

Two Good Reasons

We recommend that our clients not allow errors or any potential litigation keep them arom applying for credit for two reasons.  

First, federal law requires creditors to consider any consumer dispute when relying on credit reporting information.  This means that if you apply for credit and tell the creditor about the errors in your report, the creditor must consider any evidence you present before relying on the disputed information. This provision specifically states:

To the extent that a creditor considers credit history in evaluating the creditworthiness of similarly qualified applicants for a similar type and amount of credit, in evaluating an applicant's creditworthiness a creditor shall consider:

(ii) On the applicant's request, any information the applicant may present that tends to indicate the credit history being considered by the creditor does not accurately reflect the applicant's creditworthiness. . .

12 CFR 202.6(6)(ii).  Therefore, if you have inaccurate information on your credit reports, the creditor has a duty to consider your credit application based on your true credit history, and not simply rely on the credit report.  If the creditor ignores your dispute, you can seek a remedy from that creditor under the Equal Credit Opportunity Act (“ECOA”).  You may also be able to seek a remedy for harm from the credit reporting agency under the Fair Credit Reporting Act (“FCRA”) if you are denied credit based on inaccurate reporting by the credit reporting agency.

Second, consumers who anticipate that they may need to sue to correct their credit reports have a duty to avoid causing harm further harm to themself.  So, if you have an opportunity to buy something you want, that can make you money, or that could save you money, you have a duty to try and buy that item if you can do so by applying for credit.  Put another way, you can't recover damages for being denied credit if you don't try to get that credit.
 

Live Your Life

While we understand the frustration of past credit denials and the fear of prospective ones, we encourage consumers to live their life as they normally would, as if there were no errors on their reports.  Apply for credit if you want it or if you would benefit from it.
 
If you believe that your report contains errors and improper inquires that you don't want the creditor to consider, write a  letter for potential creditors with your credit application. That letter should identify and inaccurate information and identify any false credit inquires.  This letter should explain why the creditor should not consider this improper information and puts the creditor on notice of any errors on your report. Under the ECOA provisions we talked about above, the creditor must consider your letter and consider whether to accept your explanation or of the improper information on the report. 
 
If you do, please remember to make a copy of it, save any responses you receive from the creditor.  See our article on credit denials for more information about what to do with these denial letters. 
 

Check Out Our Videos

Remember, save any letters you receive about your credit or credit denials.  You can find more information about credit denial letters on your YouTube channel:

What Additional Resources Are Available to Help?

Common Cases

You may have a case under the Fair Credit Reporting Act if you notice the following things on your background report:

  • Fraudulent identity theft accounts on your credit credit report.
  • Someone else's Information on your credit report.
  • Paid accounts still showing a balance due.
  • Reporting your accounts in good standing as charged off or in collections.
  • Discharged debts still reporting as owed.
  • Paid tax lies showing as still owed.
  • Derogatory accounts more than 7 years old still on your report.
  • Previously deleted accounts that have been reinserted on your report.
  • Duplicate reporting of the same account.

If you would like help with one of these problems, call (888) 400-CREDIT | (888) 400-2733 or contact us through this site.

Credit Restoration and Compensation

If you have completed the dispute process and you still can't get the credit bureaus to correct your report, the FCRA allows you to sue agencies.  In most cases we are able to remove the false information, correct the report and get compensation for any credit denials, job loss, or emotional harm caused by the other side's violation of the law. 

Your Fees Paid for You

We only charge a fee if we are able to recover for you, and The Fair Credit Reporting Act requires the other side to pay your attorney's fees if you win.  You pay nothing up front and we take our fee from the other side.  

Help with Your Dispute

If you would like help with your credit report dispute, you can call our office at (888) 400-CREDIT or simply send us an email through this site.  If you prefer, you can visit our resource page for credit report request letters and sample disputes

Follow Up and Monitoring

After your case is done, we will help you to regularly check and monitor your background checks with free annual reviews of your background checks and credit reports to insure that you stay free of false conviction information. 

Work with an Experienced Credit Report Attorney

If you have been the subject of an inaccurate credit report, you may have be able to seek a correction and compensation for any harm. Our firm can help. For more than 25 years, the attorneys of Lyngklip & Associates have represented victims of bogus credit reports credit reports and been a resource for Michigan consumers who need the help of an experienced lawyer.

To learn more or to schedule a free initial consultation with a credit report lawyer, contact our law firm today or call (888) 400-CREDIT | (888) 400-2733 or contact us through this site.  In Michigan, you can reach our office at (248) 208-8864.

“BUT WHAT IF I DON’T THINK I HAVE A CASE?”

Many people think that they don’t have a case. We can help you find out if you have one. By answering a few simple questions, our attorneys can get you pointed in the right direction.

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