I was really chuffed yesterday because I finally settled on a new car after weeks of looking, thinking, trying etc. So I put the order in, paid my deposit and went off twittering about the purchase and the 4 years interest free credit.
Today though I had a call from the garage. I was asked to ring the finance company as there was a problem with my application. This is odd, I thought. Anyway, I rang the finance co and was asked how long I had lived here. 20 years in June I said. Are you sure they said? Certainly – I was here at the time!
Are you sure you haven’t lived anywhere else? Yes I replied, I am sure.
It turns out that I am “linked” to another property in Essex where I have applied for credit – and why hadn’t I said anything?
I was indignant. They wouldn’t tell me any more except I was to contact experian to resolve the anomaly. Meanwhile they would put my application on hold.
I was mad. I haven’t applied for any credit for years and certainly had no idea what they were on about. Anyway, after holding on the phone for 15 minutes waiting for experian, I spoke to a helpful chap. He sent me a link in an email and told me to register to look at my credit profile to see what the problem was and they would look into it if I objected to what was there.
So I am now awaiting my pin through the post to step a little deeper into this mystery.
Anyway, I rang the finance co back and told them what was happening and they said they will hold my application for a few days. But they had been doing some digging themselves and realized that someone had taken the first few steps in stealing my identity.
An hour after that the garage rang to say the finance had been approved despite the hassles but apparantly this is quite common at the moment. The garage said they get an average of 10 of these a month.
I wonder if it connected with all those details being lost last year on those discs.
It hasn’t really inconvenienced me apart from making me feel soiled and abused, and a little embarassed having my credit worthiness challenged and found wanting at a local garage I have been using for many years.
I will see what I find when I get my experian pin but the finance co said the best way to stop this happening is to subscribe to the monthly service at experian for £6 odd a month and keep checking my credit file regularly. Apparantly I can check it every day if I want and it doesn’t show up as a credit search. But I can keep a tight grip on anything untoward that may happen.
I may want to change my wife’s car soon so if I don’t sort this out it will rear it’s head again then.
Daily may be a little excessive but it does seem we all have to take more than just basic measures to stop this insidious crime in its tracks.
Think it can’t happen to you? yeah right – so did I