Tampa Bay graduate says credit report error delayed medical school plans

8 On Your Side

TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) – A Tampa Bay graduate says he’s been forced to put his dreams on hold for more than a year.

“I’ve had to put becoming a doctor on pause,” said Naren Reyes. “I’ve done everything in my power to fix this situation.”

Reyes, a University of South Florida graduate, says he’s had to withdraw from two different medical schools. The problem is he can’t get a student loan to pay for school.

A new lawsuit claims it’s all because of a mistake on his Experian credit report.

“At first, I thought … somebody took my identity,” said Reyes.

Right now, he says his credit report still shows he owes more than $1,700 to an out-of-state apartment complex. The debt has reportedly lingered more than two years.

“I’ve never lived or even been to Texas at that point so I was confused as to why it was on my credit report,” said Reyes. “I filed a dispute to each credit bureau.”

Two of the credit reporting agencies corrected the record after an investigation, said Reyes.

However, months later, Reyes claims Experian has still not fixed his credit report and that’s preventing him from financing medical school.

8 On Your Side Investigates contacted Experian about this issue on Friday morning.

Greg Young is the Director of Public Relations at Experian. In an email, he told 8 On Your Side that Experian will investigate the issue and reach out to Reyes after the holiday weekend.

Morgan & Morgan has filed a lawsuit against Experian and the debt collector.

“As crazy as it sounds, it’s the type of case that we see almost every day,” said attorney Frank Kerney.

Kerney says it’s unlikely Reyes is a victim of identity theft.

“My guess is probably this is a mixed file where the debt collector has mixed him up with someone with a similar name,” he said.

It’s estimated that two million people have a similar mix-up on their credit reports, according to Morgan & Morgan. They’re denied home loans, employment, and even a rental unit.

Experts say it’s important to check your credit report for mistakes each year. If you do find an error, file a police report and immediately contact the credit bureau directly.

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