Nebraska Teen Declared Dead by Credit Bureaus

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RoadFish.com men’s lifestyle and finance magazine today weighed in on the incredible mix-up of a Nebraska teen who is unable to obtain student loans, a car loan, or even get accepted into college because the credit bureaus have declared him deceased

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The scary thing is, this is not the first time I’ve heard of this happening, where somebody is mistakenly pronounced dead by the credit bureaus.

RoadFish.com men’s lifestyle and finance magazine today learned of Nebraska teenager Corbin Russell’s unusual situation of having been pronounced dead by the credit bureaus. Russell, who is a Harvard High School senior set to graduate in a few days, cannot currently take out a car loan, a student loan to pay for college, or even become accepted into universities because his credit score has numerous alerts and his Social Security number has been flagged.

Local Nebraska radio station KHAS reported that Russell was unaware of any issue until he attempted to take out a car loan from a local bank. Russell was informed that his Social Security number came back flagged, and a credit score check revealed multiple alerts. Digging deeper, it was soon realized that the root of the error stemmed from Corbin’s Social Security number, which had erroneously been used in a death benefit claim for a South Carolina man who had passed away in January 2010. Russell is quoted as saying, "I was shocked. I really couldn't believe it because I had been getting a bunch of tax returns back from when I was working. Without my social security number credit being correct, right now they have it red flagged. Without it being correct I can't get a loan because I'm deceased.”

The Huffington Post reported that the issue goes far beyond applying for just a car loan. The article reported that Russell is having difficulty even being accepted into college, because universities are rejecting his applications due to the flags on his credit report. Not only that, but were Russell to be accepted, he would be unable to pay the $40,000 in college tuition because he is unable to apply for a federal student loan without a valid Social Security number. The Huffington Post reported that News 5 was told by the Social Security administration on Monday that the issue is up to the credit bureau to correct. Fortunately, with the help of News 5, Senator Mike Johanns’ office worked to get Russell’s FAFSA approved so he will at least have help with about one third of tuition costs.

RoadFish.com’s Senior staff writer is quoted as saying, “The scary thing is, this is not the first time I’ve heard of this happening, where somebody is mistakenly pronounced dead by the credit bureaus. There are many reasons to be checking your credit report frequently, one of them is to make sure that there are no inaccuracies on your record that you’ll need to get corrected. Well, this is one heck of an inaccuracy.”

The above-mentioned KHAS article stated that it could take up to two years to get the mistake fixed. The Social Security administration has reported that Russell’s status as “alive and well” is current in their records, and that it is the credit bureaus that are responsible for resolving this issue. Reportedly, the three major credit bureaus stated that the issue can be sorted out, however they need both documentation and time to settle the matter. Russell is quoted in the article as saying, “My Social Security number - if someone just took a couple minutes of their time and said, hey, look, this Social Security number doesn't match with this person, we need to fix this, everything could be fixed… I really want to try and make it through it, but it may come down to the fact I have to wait a year or two before I can even go before they get it fixed.”

RoadFish.com hopes that the publicity of the story will help favor well for Russell, and nudge the proper companies to do their part in correcting the error. RoadFish.com’s Senior staff writer is quoted as saying, “The folks who made this error need to be working as fast as possible to correct it. It would be an incredible shame for this teenager to have to defer for two years before he can go to school. Not only that, but he can’t even take out a loan to buy himself a car without this crazy mix-up being remedied. It needs to be fixed, stat.”

The above-mentioned Huffington Post article reported that Nebraska students acquire an average student loan debt of $21,227. Nebraska was ranked as 36th in the nation by the Project on Student Debt as having the highest student loan debt in the nation, and 16th highest for percent of students who owe money to lenders for college loans.

About RoadFish

RoadFish.com is an online men's lifestyle and finance magazine targeted toward men in their 30s and 40s that have already attained a moderate level of success in life, and are striving toward more. It goes over current events of interest to this group, such things as exciting adventures, making money, consumer interests, hot chicks, and breaking financial news stories as well as ways to make more and save more money. It is a publication owned by Purpose Inc.

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David Klein
Purpose Inc.
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