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Information About Credit Reporting without a SSN

Information About Credit Reporting without a SSN
Mark Cappel
UpdatedMar 9, 2009

What if a hospital does not have your Social Security number, can they still report the bills to the credit bureaus?

What if the Hospital does not have your Social security number can they still report it to the credit Bureaus..also what about an External Collection agency can they report you without your Social or can they get your social security number?

Creditors, including hospitals and third-party collection agencies, can report a consumer’s account to the major credit bureaus without knowing the consumer’s Social Security number. Various other pieces of identifying information, such as a consumer’s name, birth date, and address, can be used by lenders to request a credit report and to report information to the bureaus. Once it has obtained a copy of your credit report using this information, the creditor will likely have your Social Security number, as consumer credit reports often list the consumer’s Social Security number. So, even if you did not give a creditor your Social Security number, it is possible the creditor can obtain your Social Security number using your name, address, birth date, etc. You should keep in mind that several types of credit information, such as judgments and other public records, can appear on your credit report without using your Social Security number to identify you (judgments do not list your Social Security number because they are public records).

The fact that creditors can report credit information to the credit bureaus without using your Social Security number is one of the reasons that credit reports often contain inaccurate account information. This problem is especially prevalent with relatives who share similar names, such as fathers and sons; often, I have seen a father’s credit information appear on his son’s credit report due to the fact that the two men share a similar name, have shared a mailing address, etc. I always encourage consumers to review their credit reports to make sure that all of the information reported is accurate. If you find any inaccurate items on your credit report, dispute the listings with the credit bureaus. See the Federal Trade Commission document FTC Facts for Consumers: How to Dispute Credit Report Errors for more information.

To learn more about credit, credit reports, and credit scoring, I encourage you to visit the credit page. I wish you the best of luck and hope that the information I have provided helps you Find. Learn. Save.




JJoseph gabrill, Oct, 2020

I don't need a credit report. I need help. I want to make a negative report on a dead beat tenant who skipped out on me and gave a fake SSN. I don't have his ssn. Am I screwed? I need access to his ssn for legitimate reporting reasons. The credit agencies won't take my report without ssn. What can I do, please? This is urgent.

DDaniel Cohen, Oct, 2020

Joseph, you don't need a debtor's Social Security number to report a debt to the credit bureaus. You can verify that at this page on Experian's websiteA business can report to one credit bureau or more than one. It is not a free service, so you need to balance the benefit of reporting against the costs for reporting and for making sure any reporting you do follows the Fair Credit Reporting Act.

I am not sure if you want to report to the bureaus to take some action against your former tenant from whom you haven't been able to collect. A negative mark on his credit would harm his credit score, but it won't put money in your pocket. Maybe the cost of participating in reporting would be better spent suing the person to get a judgment against him?

AA bit, Mar, 2012
I am very interested in a point embedded in this post, so I would like to ask for clarification even though it seems to be stated fairly clearly: can a credit report be obtained if an individual has not provided their SSN? I have read many contradictory stances on this and in interpretations of the FCRA. It used to be my understanding that without a valid SSN and permission from the individual, obtaining a credit report was simply not possible. You are adding the twist above that there are backhanded ways to obtain an SSN which I was not aware of. Please clarify with any details you can as I would really like to get clear on this once and for all. Thanks in advance.
BBill, Mar, 2012
You ask a question different from the one raised by the original reader. The original reader asked if it was possible for a creditor who does not know a consumer's Social Security number to report information about the consumer to the credit reporting agencies. The answer to that question is yes — most definitely yes.

I think you are asking if it is possible for someone to obtain a consumer's credit report without the consumer's permission. Using a reasonable interpretation of the FCRA, the answer to this question for an ethical person is "no." However, a private investigator I trust said in practice, the answer to this question is not so black and white. Read FCRA § 604. "Permissible purposes of consumer reports" [15 U.S.C. § 1681b] to find the loopholes available for an ambitious person willing to bend the rules to claim their need to pull a consumer's credit report fits the statute. Keep in mind there is no auditor monitoring the credit reporting agencies to determine if all, many, or even some accesses of consumers' credit reports complies with the FCRA.

A fair answer to your question is, "For the right price, one can obtain another's credit report without that person's permission."
rrajesh, Sep, 2011
Hi, I hope so this comment gets noticed. I have a doubt similar to the first comment. A year back I had broken a contract due to 'mis-communication' & had not paid all the fine that I was supposed to pay for breaking the contract. I did not have an SSN then. I am sure the owner must have reported that issue to the credit agency then. Now I do have an SSN. So will that default affect my credit history now? I am a bit worried about that.
BBill, Sep, 2011
Impossible to say. It is not absolutely necessary for a creditor to possess complete and accurate identification information about a consumer to report a derogatory to the consumer creditor reporting agencies. We see the credit bureaus add the wrong information to innocent consumers at a frightening rate. You should assume that the consumer credit reporting agency will report the derogatory information on your profile. Consider yourself lucky if the information you mentioned never appears.
BBill, Dec, 2009
I know of no way to add history to a credit report in the manner you suggest. This is a long-shot, but if you made the loan with a local vehicle dealer that provided on-site financing, you may wish to contact that dealership and ask if they would be willing to do a favor for a good customer and add the payment history to your credit report. If you are not successful with that idea, you can add a consumer statement to your credit report.
SSuhyun, Dec, 2009
I am a permanent resident who only had a SSN for 2 years. But I was a foreign student and have been living in states for 6 years. I had a car loan paid off 3 years ago when I did not have a SSN. Is it possible to add this payment history to my credit history?