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Question:


I have heard that some people receive two credit reports and two credit scores from one credit bureau. Is that because of fraud?
-D_Magherni


Answer:


Not necessarily. Credit scores change all the time. It’s possible that someone will order a report and see one score, then get another one soon after that reflects changed circumstances, such as a delinquency or, let’s look on the bright side, a reduced debt load relative to available credit. In fact, it would make sense that someone who is either worried about recent developments that could affect a credit score or else working to improve the score would be ordering multiple reports to see what sort of impact the new situation was having. It’s also possible that there’s a mix-up and that a consumer received reports and scores from two agencies. There are three main credit reporting agencies, TransUnion, Equifax and Experian. The last two don’t sound all that different.
Is fraud a possibility? Maybe more deceit than fraud. Outfits that purport to be able to help consumers improve their credit scores may send out solicitations that seem like credit reports. These companies could have names that sound vaguely official, perhaps close enough to one of the real reporting agencies, in an attempt to make recipients think that the legitimate agency is contacting them. A company may indicate that someone on the receiving end of a letter has a very low credit score to try to stir panic and a desperate plea for the company’s help when none is needed. It may then send another letter to the same person with a different score for whatever reason. If you get a pitch like that – or two or three – you may want to order a credit report from one or more of the three main agencies. You can get a free one once a year from each of them through annualcreditreport.com.

-Conrad de Aenlle



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