As most people have already heard, Equifax had a security breach that could potentially affect over 143 million Americans. This was an error on the part of Equifax for not installing a security fix that left the system vulnerable for at least two months. The hackers obtained names, social security numbers, birth dates, addresses and some driver’s license information. The obvious concern is identity theft for millions of Americans for years to come.
What does this mean for your dealership?
- Customers may not want their credit pulled until they feel safe.
- Customers may request not to have Equifax involved in the credit inquiry process.
- Customer may have a credit freeze. This will require extra steps to complete a deal.
- Future issues for customer who have had their identity stolen may not be able to purchase vehicles because of credit issues.
What can dealers do to help?
- Make sure contracts are current with other credit agencies. e.g TransUnion, Experian
- Have credit agencies contact numbers available for customers to unfreeze credit.
- Equifax: 800-349-9960
- Experian: 888-397-3742
- TransUnion: 888-909-8872
- Be vigilant in verifying customer identities
- Refer customers to equifaxsecurity2017.com to see if they were affected.
- Equifax is offering free credit monitoring to customers affected.
It is a concerning issue but customers will still need and want to purchase vehicles. Dealers need to be prepared with pertinent information and ways to assist customers navigate these unfortunate circumstances.
Dealers can source credit bureaus from different vendors like 700Credit, National Credit Center (NCC), CoreLogic Credco, and others. The aggregated costs for credit checks can easily exceed $1,000 per month per store. We encourage dealers to contact the Gillrie Institute for reviewing the various credit check offerings. We will tell you if your vendors are at their bottom price.