Could this inquiry have hurt my credit score?

The hubby and I finally ditched our prepay phones and got an actual grown-up cellular plan. In the process, the cell phone store clerk took our SSNs and did mysterious things on a computer, and eventually they gave us some phones and stuff.

What we ended up with was a family plan which is entirely in my husband’s name; my name doesn’t appear anywhere on the paperwork. His name appears as the “Primary User” for my phone number as well.

About a week after we got the phones, I got a letter from the cell phone company stating that my social security number was issued before the date of my birth, and they were unable to verify my name and address, SSN and phone number, and I would have to pay a $400 deposit per line to get cell phone service.

I think it’s pretty clear that the guy must have just typed in the wrong SSN, since I’ve just passed a bunch credit checks to get our apartment, join a local credit union, etc. There’s nothing wrong with my credit, and I’ve never heard this crap about the number being issued before my date of birth before. There is no social security number given in the letter, I guess to protect my identity should the letter fall in to the Wrong Hands.

I also assume that, since everything’s just in my husband’s name, we have service based on his credit, which should be okay, I would think.

My question is whether an inquiry using my correct name but an incorrect SSN could possibly have a negative impact on my credit score. I’m guessing not, that that stuff is all keyed just to my SSN. Or should I take the time to write to them and clear this up? (They handily do not include any contact numbers in the letter, despite the fact that they are a PHONE COMPANY, I guess because they don’t want to get screamed at by deadbeats with bad credit, but there is an address to write to if I have any questions.)

“Hard inquiries” meaning you actively sought credit can bring your credit score down a little but the effect should only be tremporary. The model is set to respond to someone seeking lots of credit in a short amount of time. Even assuming it did end up on your credit report, there is no need to keep your credit score as high as possible at all times. It is a fluid thing and it only matters when you apply for certain types of credit like a mortgage or a car loan. Even them, there is no benefit to being as high as possible with your credit score. Anything above the low 700’s is just an impressive number and doesn’t really do you much good. Anyone who is reasonable responsible should have that after establishing a long credit history. Unless you have a pressing need and you know you are a borderline case, I wouldn’t worry about it at least for that purpose. It will bounce back from that little bump even assuming there is one.

While it shouldn’t affect your score, it may be reflected on your report. Sometimes (but not always) if someone runs a report on you using the wrong number, it can show up later on a report as an ‘alias’, ie it will show you as having used two socials. A little annoying but not hard to fix. It can also happen in the reverse if a different name is used with your social.

Yeah, Shag, I normally wouldn’t worry about it that much, but we are hoping to get a house either this year or next, so I’m more concerned about my score than usual.

Thanks for the info, Aunt Flow. I will write them a letter in that case.

I work in real estate, and one or two inquiries is fine. It’s when you see five or ten or twenty inquires that you have to start wondering why this person is seeking so much credit and not getting it.

You’ll want to pull your credit reports to make sure that everything that’s on there is yours and correct. Go to for free reports (scores are extra).

It’s not the inquiry I’m worried about, it’s the fact they made the inquiry with the wrong SSN. I don’t want to have my credit score dinged with a note on the report to the effect of “This person may be attempting fraud.”

I don’t think they do that. The personal identification models are so fuzzy that they can’t identify who is trying to commit fraud and what is their screw up. The first time I pulled my credit reports, their must have been at least 20 identification errors between the three agencies. That may be more than most but they know their models can’t match transactions perfectly. I don’t think they even have a flag for potential fraud because they couldn’t do it well. You should be fine.

Won’t happen. I’ve had that happen before.