You may receive the adverse notice reason of “credit card denied, unable to verify identity of applicant”, when you have not been approved for credit.
This message is likely due to a mismatch in information between what you have provided to the credit issuer and the three major credit bureaus and/or third party entities they use to check that information for accuracy.
If you retained a copy of your paper application, the first step would be to double-check all of your entered information and ensure there are no incorrect spellings including wrong numbers, names, or dates.
Otherwise, if you submitted an online application, it may be necessary to determine how to confirm that the details you provided were in fact correct.
Start by contacting the credit card company from where you are seeking to obtain credit and ask if they can direct you to the correct number to call.
Often times they will use a third party to perform the identity verification.
If you discover that your credit report contains inaccurate information, you may also want to contest this.
Subsequently, it may be possible that it is the result of some form of identity theft, in which case, freezing or locking your credit may be necessary.
Despite the fact that you strongly believe your credit report may contain inaccuracies, this isn’t always the case and sometimes the investigation concludes that the information is factually correct.
How do I get my identity verified?
It is necessary for the financial institution to ask several questions on their application forms to confirm your identity.
When you apply for a credit card, these questions are necessary to ensure that the person they’re dealing with is actually you, and not some perpetrator pretending to be.
Identity theft is common and ubiquitous and as a result, credit issuers will typically err on the side of caution to eliminate this threat or at least minimize it.
Consumers may feel, however, that some of the questions asked of them is an invasion of privacy.
Despite this, it is a necessity for the bank or credit issuer to acquire all of the information being asked of the consumer, for the aforementioned reasons.
The process typically involves completing either an online or physical form:
- where you provide information about yourself, i.e. name, date of birth, residential address, phone number, occupation, etc.
- answer challenge questions about your credit history including credit issuers and previous loans, as well as when and for how long you had them.
Beware though, as some of the questions can be rather vague, and may even refer to events dating back several years in fact, so much so that it may be difficult to remember.
Not only that, the questions may not even seem relevant, such as the color of your previous car, or the street name of a past employer.
You may even be asked about a relative with bad credit, despite not having any connection with them in your current situation, yet it is brought to attention simply because you lived with them in the past.
Whatever the case may be, be prepared for questions that may not necessarily have the most obvious answer.
Why can’t my identity be verified when applying for a credit card?
Mistakes can happen
Unfortunately, it’s quite common for consumers to makes mistakes during their application process.
Questions arise that are not trivial in nature to answer and often this leads to unwanted mistakes.
For example, you may be asked to provide exact start and end dates for your previous loans, but you approach this with a degree of uncertainty.
As a result, the dates you provided may have been incorrect and inadvertently caused your denial of credit.
If you suspect that this was the case, research and take a deep dive into your old paperwork to determine exact details.
If you discover an inconsistency with the dates you provided for previous loans for example, contact the credit issuer and request for reconsideration or perhaps a way to resubmit your application.
A case of mistaken identity
Often times it is common for two people to have the same name, potentially causing confusion which can lead to a mix up in credit look-ups.
For example, there are cases where a father and son have identical names with the only difference being the suffix of “Sr.” and “Jr.”.
In instances like this, it is very important to always provide your complete name to avoid any ambiguity.
To make things even more interesting, conflicts may arise between two people who are completely unrelated but have identical names, one of which for example is the name “John Smith”.
In any case, it is recommended that you dispute any information that is not correct.
Potential identity theft
Finally, identity verification related issues could be the result of identity theft.
For example, someone unbeknownst to you may have attempted to open a credit card under your name, providing inaccurate personal details.
Identity theft may also result from unauthorized hard inquiries on your credit report, such as someone applying for a disaster loan under your name, or from a credit reporting agency unnecessarily requiring access.
These scenarios can lead to credit reports or other sources of information to retain incorrect personal or professional data.
Grab a hold of your credit report in the off chance that your are denied credit, so that you can rule out this possibility.
What if I provide accurate information but the credit issuer is still unable to verify my identity?
If you have been very diligent in providing the correct information on previous loan dates and personal information during your credit card application, the financial institution may still reject it.
After having contacted the credit issuer and reviewed everything in your submitted application, it’s important to not just give up, but to find out what and where the discrepancy is, if any.
We would all like to believe that the three major credit bureaus always have the most up to date and correct information. In reality, this isn’t always the case.
Whenever there is manual intervention, the potential for human error increases.
Perhaps there is a delay in reflecting updated credit information that has been recently reported to the bureaus, such as address or name changes, causing inconsistencies during verification.
Other issues include misspellings and typographical errors with numbers and/or dates.
Regardless, once the questions have been answered, the credit issuer attempts to verify the provided information against the three major credit bureaus or in many cases, a third party company that specializes in verifying past credit or identity history.
Examples of such companies include LexisNexis, SageStream and Innovis just to name a few.
These third party entities typically provide financial institutions with services for formulating the types of questions you are being asked.
If your application concludes with a denial of credit due to being unable verify your identity, despite having provided accurate information to the best of your ability, it may be worthwhile following up with your credit issuer to determine their verification procedure.
More often than not, they should be able to point you in the direction of the third party they use to verify your identity.
Whether it be LexisNexis or some other similar organization, confirming any inaccuracies with the information they have about you may potentially uncover the reasons behind your credit denial(s), and therefore get you one step closer to resolving these issues.
If the credit issuer is unable to provide you with any contact details, the least you can do is to obtain a free copy of your credit report from annualcreditreport.com and verify if all of your information is correct.