Q: Six years ago, someone opened a gas card under my mother's name. Is there any way to fix the damage to her credit report?
Yes, credit reporting agencies have committed to helping victims of identity theft, but you'll need to follow some basic rules.
According to officials at the Identity Theft Assistance Center, your mother has joined the ranks of consumers who have had their financial lives disrupted by someone who exploited another person's good credit. ITAC officials say that identity theft goes far beyond the common explanation of a criminal grabbing personal details from garbage bins. Your mother could have been duped by someone close to her, or could have been victimized by computer malware that seized her financial records.
Identity theft can go undetected for years. A recent CFPB study revealed that only about 1 in 5 Americans check their credit reports each year, even though federal law requires credit reporting agencies to make them available at no charge at least once every twelve months. For your mother to successfully remove that gas card from her credit history, she should follow these steps:
With some persistence and patience, your mother can get that fraudulent trade line dropped from all three of her major credit reports.