LODI (CBS13) — Sarah Williams found herself prematurely buried in the credit score grave yard. Her credit score is now zero.
"I'm dead?" she remembers asking. "Well that's interesting."
She was trying to qualify for a car loan to replace her aging car. Turns out loan company Acura Financial Services, which she used for another car she owned, made a big mistake marking on her credit report "consumer deceased." The company admitted an employee selected the wrong choice from a drop down menu.
"You killed me! You killed my credit!"
Sarah's bank said without a score, she couldn't have a loan.
"Our plans came to a screeching halt," she said.
She says Acura Financial claimed it would fix it, but it could take up to 30 days. That was too long for her.
"This is not my fault. This is not my error," she said
Credit counselor Jeff Sipes with Blue Water Credit says he's seen a number of clients reported dead by mistake. Some errors could cause you to lose out on lower interest rates or the ability to lock in a good deal on a car or home. He says by law, credit agencies have thirty days to fix errors once you report them.
"With credit, we're guilty until proven innocent," Sipes said.
Acura Financial never returned our calls. We reached out to credit bureaus Equifax and Experian which right away corrected Sarah's report resurrecting her credit score. Within two weeks of contacting us, she had her brand new Honda SUV.
Months before needing a loan, it's a good idea to check your credit for free under AnnualCreditReport.com. You will have time to fix any mistakes.
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