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Hi- new here... looking to buy an Element in the next few weeks. In doing my research, I went ahead and got my FICO scores so I would know for myself what they were. Come to find out, someone fraudulantly purchased phone service in my name about a year ago, ran up the bill, never paid it, and I got reported to collections. Never knew a thing about it. Now I have a "derogatory" mark on my credit as reported by TransUnion. I'm going through the proper channels to get rid of it, but in the meantime, my score from TransUnion is 676. From the other two credit agencies, I have 768 and 754.

My question involves getting financing from the dealer. I realize it's the bank, not the dealership that decides what interest rate/money factor they will give someone. However, do you think it would benefit us to let the dealer know ahead of time about the fraud and that we are correcting it? Or would it be better for us to let him offer us an interest rate/money factor and then if it's not satisfactory to us, try to renegotiate it by telling him about the fraud at that point? I really want my Element and I'd rather not wait 60-90 days for all credit report issue to be resolved, but I guess that would be another option. Any advice? Thanks.
 

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Ouch. :(

Sadly, the credit report is the alpha and omega here, which is the big problem with credit reports when identity theft is running so rampant. Record of any dispute correcting a problem with the report has to come from the agency issuing the report.

In other words, if they put a "note in your file" that a glaring negative item was under investigation as a probable identity theft issue, you should be OK with the bank. But lacking that, the bank is unlikely to take your word for it because there really isn't any "official" channel for the consumer to dispute prospective negative reports, especially when the financing is being handled through a disinterested 3rd party such as the dealer.

In your case, you should probably make the effort to secure the best financing you can as a "pre-approved" loan. You do this by going directly to your bank or credit union. At least there you won't have two or three additional "middle people" to garble the communications about your situation. Be warned, though, that if you want to talk about the fraudulent use of your credit identity, you had better be prepared with correspondence to and from the credit bureau, if not a copy of a police report reporting the identity theft.

Good luck to you. That's really a bummer.
 
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