Don’t you feel proud when your namesake makes you proud?? The names that we are given define who we are and where (and from who) we come from. However, when it comes to financing, the name that you are given can complicate things.
As I mentioned in a previous blog, having Jrs. and Srs. living under the same roof can be problematic. Under most circumstances, Dad has been the upstanding citizen who has paid all of his debts on time. He has multiple mortgages on all of his properties and has never missed a payment. He has trade credit with all of his vendors. Accordingly, Dun & Bradstreet considers him a saint.
Now it is time for him to expand the business and acquire the competition. He goes to visit his long term banker at the local branch and expects carte blanche treatment; however, he receives the opposite. A credit report is run and Jrs. bankruptcy, late payments, and delinquent child support have found their way onto Srs. report. As such, Sr. has to initiate an investigation to substantiate and differentiate his credit from his son’s and the acquisition opportunity has come and gone due to time that is necessary to clear the credit issues on his report. So, here’s the lesson–if you have a namesake or are someone else’s namesake and both people live under the same roof, make sure that you make it a point to check your credit to ensure that your tradelines don’t cross. It can be a nightmare to clear things up, and opportunities can come and go in the blink of an eye.
As a sidebar, many people aren’t aware of the fact that many credit files are determined by pieces of an individual’s factual information. For example, Juan Smith Sr. at 1234 Main Street in New York, New York, 10010 currently has his son, Juan Smith Jr. living with him. When they apply for credit and the computer cranks out their file numbers it may be structured something like this: JUITH23TRYORK010 (first two characters of the first name, the last three characters of the last name, the second and third numbers of the address, the middle characters of the street name, the second name of the city, and the last three digits of the zip). Given what is included in the file, Juan Sr. and Juan Jr. have the same exact file. Accordingly, this is when the documentation and substantiation is necessary to separate the two family members’ credit histories.
I can’t stress enough how important it is for family members to check their credit reports with frequency. There are too many opportunities for a family member’s errors to end up on another family member’s report, thereby ruining years of a great credit history. This can be drag not only for parents and children, but spouses as well. Juan Smith isn’t too far removed from Juanita Smith. Therefore, the same pieces of information that comprise the father and son’s files can easily configure the husband and wife’s files as well.
Love and credit don’t mix, especially with your loved ones. Keep an eye on them and your credit will be OK. Take your eye off of them and lost opportunities may abound.