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Alleged PenFed Loan Application

lizmariposa
Valued Member

Alleged PenFed Loan Application

I wasn't sure where it was appropriate to file this post, so I put it in here. Anyway. Today I got a letter claiming to be from PenFed Credit Union -- with their logo, address and other contact information as per their website, claiming that I applied for a loan from them and got rejected. Let's just say that before today, I never even knew PenFed existed. I have never applied to PenFed for any loans. 

 

The information on their letter seems fishy to me because it it seems to have typos, doesn't even have my apartment number listed, and claims my credit score is 699 (which it is not). Then, at the last sentence it says "For California redients only: If you did not submit an application for credit to the Pentagon Federal Credit Union, please contact us at 800-247-5626," though which is their genuine number, I can never reach a live person. Why would they have that for California only? 

 

I have gone ahead and sent them an email to their address they listed on their website, but I want to know if anyone else has gone through a similar thing with them, or if this is even a legit company, or a bogus company with an online front. 

 

Thanks for any input, 

 

Liz 

 

 

Message 1 of 14
13 REPLIES 13
thornback
Senior Contributor

Re: Alleged PenFed Loan Application

PenFed (pentagon federal credit union) is absolutely a real institution. They use FICO version 9 based on Equifax data, so the score noted on the letter may not match the score version you monitor. If someone did apply using your info, an inquiry from PenFed should show on your Equifax credit report. 

 

The letter you received tho could be a spoof -- especially if it has typos. PenFed has been professional in correspondence, from my experience. 

 

You should contact PenFed to make sure they have no apps on file for you and to let them know of this letter you received so they can take appropriate action.

 

Other Ph: 724-473-6333.


As for the 1-800-247-5626,  I've never had an issue getting a live person. 

 

The California ref is probably bc CA has consumer laws on the books requiring specific language be included in credit approval/denial letters. 

 

You should also lock or freeze your credit reports for a while, if they are not already, to protect yourself, just in case. 

 

Please update us on what you find out. 

Personal Aphorism:
"Forget What You Feel, Remember What You Deserve"


Starting FICO 8s | 09/2017: EX 641 ✦ EQ 634 ✦ TU 647
Current FICO 8s | 11/2020: EX 780 ✦ EQ 771 ✦ TU 781
Current FICO 9s | 11/2020: EX 793 ✦ EQ 780 ✦ TU 778
2020 Goal Score | 800s


My AAoA: 3.8 years not incl. AU / 4 years incl. AU
My AoOA: 7.10 years not incl. AU / 9.10 years incl. AU
Inquiries: EX 0/6 | 1/12 ✦ EQ 1/6 | 2/12 ✦ TU 0/6 | 1/12
Report Status: Clean


Without patience, we will learn less in life. We will see less. We will feel less. We will hear less. Ironically, rush and more usually mean less.
Message 2 of 14
lizmariposa
Valued Member

Re: Alleged PenFed Loan Application

I went ahead and contacted them. It took me about an hour to get through, mind you. They don't have an easy way to contact someone if you are not a member. They want your birthdate and social security number -- so I made some stuff up, just to get to someone. On the other side of the line, a very sleepy and yawning man argued with me about the loan situation. I have not applied for any loans, and my last credit card application was in September, for which I was approved. 

 

The FICO 9 score was off by a point, so I guess it is plausible it is a fraud attempt. He did find an application (as I had the application number from the rejection letter) in there, and said he'd forward it to the fraud department, and to "not worry because it was denied." I say "Yeah, but I don't want it messing up my credit!" lol He seemed to not to understand the importance of that. Anyways, the letter says I applied on December 2nd. I'd think I would seen that in my credit reports, since they are usually quick to punish you when you get rejected. We'll see. 

 

I don't know yet how to freeze things from this site. I'll look around.  

Message 3 of 14
thornback
Senior Contributor

Re: Alleged PenFed Loan Application


@lizmariposa wrote:

 

I don't know yet how to freeze things from this site. I'll look around.  


 

You cannot freeze your reports from here (myFICO).  You have to go through each bureau individually to place freeze (i think all 3 allow you to do so online).  If there was a hard pull inquiry from PenFed you'd see it on your reports -- but I wouldn't just rely on a monitoring service to alert to a new inquiry (delays, tech issues), you have to check an updated report.   You can pull your updated Equifax report from Annual Credit Report for free -- https://www.annualcreditreport.com/  just to be absolutely sure (it's a credible, federally regulated consumer credit report site).   If you received an inquiry,  I'd highly suggest filing a police report (this will also protect you in case future fraud attempts are succcessful), disputing the inquiry as fraudulant to have it removed, and then definately freezing all three bureaus so this cannot happen again.  

 

I'm also sorry your customer service experience was so horrible.  As a member, I haven't had to call them much but the few times I have were always fine.  

 

 

 

Personal Aphorism:
"Forget What You Feel, Remember What You Deserve"


Starting FICO 8s | 09/2017: EX 641 ✦ EQ 634 ✦ TU 647
Current FICO 8s | 11/2020: EX 780 ✦ EQ 771 ✦ TU 781
Current FICO 9s | 11/2020: EX 793 ✦ EQ 780 ✦ TU 778
2020 Goal Score | 800s


My AAoA: 3.8 years not incl. AU / 4 years incl. AU
My AoOA: 7.10 years not incl. AU / 9.10 years incl. AU
Inquiries: EX 0/6 | 1/12 ✦ EQ 1/6 | 2/12 ✦ TU 0/6 | 1/12
Report Status: Clean


Without patience, we will learn less in life. We will see less. We will feel less. We will hear less. Ironically, rush and more usually mean less.
Message 4 of 14
lizmariposa
Valued Member

Re: Alleged PenFed Loan Application

Thank you for all of the help and advice. I have placed a freeze on all of them. All of which were free, but for Experian. They charged me like $5 and some change. I also got the report from the annual credit report website. The letter for the loan rejection states that they got their info from Equifax. But in the Equifax report, it says it was a soft pull and not a hard pull. Which still makes no sense, because as I understand it, soft pulls wouldn't really trigger such a letter...? And in any case, I didn't apply anyway for any kind of loan (not even a prequalification). 

 

Anyway, thanks for all the advice, again. This has been a learning curve. 

Message 5 of 14
thornback
Senior Contributor

Re: Alleged PenFed Loan Application


@lizmariposa wrote:

But in the Equifax report, it says it was a soft pull and not a hard pull. Which still makes no sense, because as I understand it, soft pulls wouldn't really trigger such a letter...? And in any case, I didn't apply anyway for any kind of loan (not even a prequalification). 

 


This is really weird.  Soft pulls don't affect your credit score but they do allow a creditor to view your credit report.  Some lenders offer soft pulls on new products - but generally only for those that are already customers - in which case a letter would be sent if you were denied for that product.   PenFed is not one to do that tho - they offer pre-approvals that don't require a hard inquiry, but you'd have to be an active member.   I can't explain any of this for you but i'm glad it didn't go further than it did and you were able to take some action to prevent anymore bad activity.   

 

Also - that Experian $5+ charge was probably for their Credit Lock service, not a Security Freeze.   A Security Freeze is free for everyone, by law.   

Tranunion and Equifax offer their Credit Lock features for free (i don't know why Experian charges for it- greed).   Both a Credit Lock and Security Freeze are essentially the same as far as functionality goes, the only difference is that the Security Freeze is an option backed by Federal Law, so should it fail to protect you, you'd have recourse.   A Credit Lock gives no such guarantee --should it fail, you're on your own.   

 

 

 

 

Personal Aphorism:
"Forget What You Feel, Remember What You Deserve"


Starting FICO 8s | 09/2017: EX 641 ✦ EQ 634 ✦ TU 647
Current FICO 8s | 11/2020: EX 780 ✦ EQ 771 ✦ TU 781
Current FICO 9s | 11/2020: EX 793 ✦ EQ 780 ✦ TU 778
2020 Goal Score | 800s


My AAoA: 3.8 years not incl. AU / 4 years incl. AU
My AoOA: 7.10 years not incl. AU / 9.10 years incl. AU
Inquiries: EX 0/6 | 1/12 ✦ EQ 1/6 | 2/12 ✦ TU 0/6 | 1/12
Report Status: Clean


Without patience, we will learn less in life. We will see less. We will feel less. We will hear less. Ironically, rush and more usually mean less.
Message 6 of 14
lizmariposa
Valued Member

Re: Alleged PenFed Loan Application

Gotcha! I just keep on learning new things. 

Message 7 of 14
thornback
Senior Contributor

Re: Alleged PenFed Loan Application

Last thing--- don't forget your reports are now locked -  you'll have to remember to unlock them for any new apps or prequals and then re-lock afterwards.  

Personal Aphorism:
"Forget What You Feel, Remember What You Deserve"


Starting FICO 8s | 09/2017: EX 641 ✦ EQ 634 ✦ TU 647
Current FICO 8s | 11/2020: EX 780 ✦ EQ 771 ✦ TU 781
Current FICO 9s | 11/2020: EX 793 ✦ EQ 780 ✦ TU 778
2020 Goal Score | 800s


My AAoA: 3.8 years not incl. AU / 4 years incl. AU
My AoOA: 7.10 years not incl. AU / 9.10 years incl. AU
Inquiries: EX 0/6 | 1/12 ✦ EQ 1/6 | 2/12 ✦ TU 0/6 | 1/12
Report Status: Clean


Without patience, we will learn less in life. We will see less. We will feel less. We will hear less. Ironically, rush and more usually mean less.
Message 8 of 14
CH-7-Rebuilding
Valued Contributor

Re: Alleged PenFed Loan Application


@thornback wrote:

@lizmariposa wrote:

But in the Equifax report, it says it was a soft pull and not a hard pull. Which still makes no sense, because as I understand it, soft pulls wouldn't really trigger such a letter...? And in any case, I didn't apply anyway for any kind of loan (not even a prequalification). 

 


This is really weird.  Soft pulls don't affect your credit score but they do allow a creditor to view your credit report.  Some lenders offer soft pulls on new products - but generally only for those that are already customers - in which case a letter would be sent if you were denied for that product.   PenFed is not one to do that tho - they offer pre-approvals that don't require a hard inquiry, but you'd have to be an active member.   I can't explain any of this for you but i'm glad it didn't go further than it did and you were able to take some action to prevent anymore bad activity.   

 

Also - that Experian $5+ charge was probably for their Credit Lock service, not a Security Freeze.   A Security Freeze is free for everyone, by law.   

Tranunion and Equifax offer their Credit Lock features for free (i don't know why Experian charges for it- greed).   Both a Credit Lock and Security Freeze are essentially the same as far as functionality goes, the only difference is that the Security Freeze is an option backed by Federal Law, so should it fail to protect you, you'd have recourse.   A Credit Lock gives no such guarantee --should it fail, you're on your own.   

 

 

 

 


You also need to contact the credit reporting agencies and ask for an "extended fraud alert" on your reports.   It will stay on for seven years but you can choose to remove it at any time.    What happens is with any loan application the lender will ask for more identication information before proceeding.

You seriously sound like you have been subject to an identity theft situation.   Do everything you can to protect yourself.

Message 9 of 14
thornback
Senior Contributor

Re: Alleged PenFed Loan Application


@CH-7-Rebuilding wrote:

@thornback wrote:

@lizmariposa wrote:

But in the Equifax report, it says it was a soft pull and not a hard pull. Which still makes no sense, because as I understand it, soft pulls wouldn't really trigger such a letter...? And in any case, I didn't apply anyway for any kind of loan (not even a prequalification). 

 


This is really weird.  Soft pulls don't affect your credit score but they do allow a creditor to view your credit report.  Some lenders offer soft pulls on new products - but generally only for those that are already customers - in which case a letter would be sent if you were denied for that product.   PenFed is not one to do that tho - they offer pre-approvals that don't require a hard inquiry, but you'd have to be an active member.   I can't explain any of this for you but i'm glad it didn't go further than it did and you were able to take some action to prevent anymore bad activity.   

 

Also - that Experian $5+ charge was probably for their Credit Lock service, not a Security Freeze.   A Security Freeze is free for everyone, by law.   

Tranunion and Equifax offer their Credit Lock features for free (i don't know why Experian charges for it- greed).   Both a Credit Lock and Security Freeze are essentially the same as far as functionality goes, the only difference is that the Security Freeze is an option backed by Federal Law, so should it fail to protect you, you'd have recourse.   A Credit Lock gives no such guarantee --should it fail, you're on your own.   

 

 

 

 


You also need to contact the credit reporting agencies and ask for an "extended fraud alert" on your reports.   It will stay on for seven years but you can choose to remove it at any time.    What happens is with any loan application the lender will ask for more identication information before proceeding.

You seriously sound like you have been subject to an identity theft situation.   Do everything you can to protect yourself.


+100  excellent advice.

Personal Aphorism:
"Forget What You Feel, Remember What You Deserve"


Starting FICO 8s | 09/2017: EX 641 ✦ EQ 634 ✦ TU 647
Current FICO 8s | 11/2020: EX 780 ✦ EQ 771 ✦ TU 781
Current FICO 9s | 11/2020: EX 793 ✦ EQ 780 ✦ TU 778
2020 Goal Score | 800s


My AAoA: 3.8 years not incl. AU / 4 years incl. AU
My AoOA: 7.10 years not incl. AU / 9.10 years incl. AU
Inquiries: EX 0/6 | 1/12 ✦ EQ 1/6 | 2/12 ✦ TU 0/6 | 1/12
Report Status: Clean


Without patience, we will learn less in life. We will see less. We will feel less. We will hear less. Ironically, rush and more usually mean less.
Message 10 of 14
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