Give God some credit. He might own a cash-for-gold store, but a New York man says he can't get credit because his first name is God.
God M. Gazarov is suing credit bureau Equifax because, despite two years of trying to resolve the issue over the phone and online, he is shown as having no credit history, said Gazarov's lawyer, James Fishman.
"He has credit denials as a result of this," Fishman said.
Gazarov, a 26-year-old naturalized citizen, owns the pawnshop Gold Hard Cash LLC in Brooklyn, but can't get more than a $500 credit line with Capital One because of the Equifax glitch, the suit alleges. On other occasions, Gazarov has been denied credit or had to pay higher interest rates because of the absence of an Equifax credit history, Fishman said. Gazarov's credit score is over 720 with both of the other two big credit bureaus, Experian and TransUnion.
"They have a long history of being unresponsive. There's no question that they knew there was a problem," Fishman said. Earlier this year, when Gazarov called Equifax about the issue, the representative suggested he change his name, the lawsuit says.
The suit, filed in federal court in Brooklyn on Friday, charges Equifax with violating the Fair Credit Reporting Act and a similar New York state law. It seeks unspecified damages and an injunction requiring Equifax to fix the glitch that shows Gazarov as having no credit history. Gazarov's troubles were first reported by the New York Post. The phone at his shop rang unanswered Friday.
"Equifax has processes in place to help ensure that businesses and individuals requesting access to credit are who they say they are. These processes flag standalone names that generally may not be associated with the valid openings of credit accounts," the company said in an emailed statement. "We are working with the consumer to make the necessary changes to his account."
Gazarov's lawyer disagrees. "They're not working with him. That's nonsense," Fishman said. "I think they will now because of the lawsuit."