My mom put bills in my name. How can I clean up my credit?
October 24, 2013 4:25 PM   Subscribe

First, I understand that no one here is my lawyer. I recently ordered my free credit report for the first time. When I looked at the information, I discovered that my mom had put several utility bills and even credit cards in my name when I was a minor. Because she didn't always pay the bills on time, or at all, my credit is pretty bad. I'm not interested in pursuing criminal charges against my mom, but I do want to get these marks off my credit. What can I do to fix my credit? Who should I contact and what should I say?
posted by Chuck Barris to Work & Money (6 answers total) 4 users marked this as a favorite
Apparently this is not too uncommon. You might want to look at some of these.
posted by Houstonian at 5:26 PM on October 24, 2013

Contact a nonprofit credit counselling service. I wouldn't be surprised if you could dispute the items in question.
posted by windykites at 8:31 PM on October 24, 2013

WTF? Who the hell does this to their kids? Man, genitalia should come with a license.

Good time for a name change.

Seems like any outfit that can help you with identity theft would be able to help you with this. I can't imagine that the implications and solutions are vastly different and that is essential what dear mom did.

i'm sorry you grew up with this. glad you are growing up, though. that's just plain evil.
posted by FauxScot at 4:04 AM on October 25, 2013

Best answer: First of all, write to each credit agency and dispute the items based on identity theft. Request a hold on your report due to fraud, this means that no one can open accounts in your name without a very strict verification process.

You don't have to press any charges against your mother to dispute the charges. Simply say that an adult family member stole your identity and since they have your birthdate on file, which proves that you were a minor when the bills were put in your name, they'll have to correct your report. No one under the age of 18 can be responsible for any contracted service, even if they sign for it THEMSELVES, let alone if they are the victim of idenity theft.

You DO need to address this with your mother. Tell her that she has created a terrible problem, damaged your credit and now you have to hassle with this issue. It's NOT OKAY, and you have every right to lecture her and make her feel like shit. It won't last long, she found ways to justify this nonsense back when she did it.
posted by Ruthless Bunny at 6:13 AM on October 25, 2013 [4 favorites]

Oh, my mom did that all the time too! I agree with those who say that you should ask your mother about it. Perhaps not everything that she did has shown up.
posted by Ms. Moonlight at 8:58 AM on October 25, 2013

As @Ruthless Bunny explains above, you can start fixing your credit without having to let the rest of society know your mother is a criminal. (The knowledge truly sucks, I'm sorry.)

My husband's abusive mother did the same thing to him. He also found out the truth the exact way you did. Turns out mothers who steal their kids' identities also aren't super honest with them about it after the fact, go figure.
posted by hush at 11:28 AM on October 25, 2013 [1 favorite]

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