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When a Sydney man nearly lost his dream home because of mistaken identity

What is in a name? Credit rating systems rely on the first and last names.

In another case of mistaken identity, Sydney-based Harpal Singh's application for a home loan was refused, apparently, because his credit rating was confused with that of another person, who not only shares the same name, but also the date of birth.

Harpal Singh got the shock of his life when his home loan application was refused due to bad credit rating. 

He told SBS Punjabi, "Being a very cautious and law-abiding citizen, I always paid my bills and other dues well before time and in full."

But when his home loan application was refused on the grounds that his credit checks have failed due to some overdue bills, he couldn’t believe it.

Mr Singh said when he investigated the matter, he found the record of another person with the same name date of birth was being confused with his. 

"He lived in another metro city, yet the credit rating system couldn’t differentiate between the two," Mr Singh told SBS Punjabi.


Mr Singh really loved the house but the home loan refusal had landed Mr Singh in a difficult situation as he had already paid a deposit. 

He said getting the record straight on his credit report was "nothing short of a nightmare".

With his persistent efforts, he managed to avail the home loan in time and bought his home. But a year later, he again received notices to pay off certain bills that belonged to his namesake.

He said he had to go through the same rigmarole once again with the credit rating agency to get himself cleared. 

Last month, SBS Punjabi reported on how Canberra resident Baljeet Singh Ghotra was spooked by notices from debt recovery agencies and even law enforcement as he was confused with another man with the same name and date of birth. 

Changing his name from Baljeet Singh to Baljeet Singh Ghotra did little to help his situation as he continued to be taken for a convicted fraudster, including at the time of his citizenship application and his wife's spouse visa. 

Credit reporting body Equifax that took over Veda in 2016 told SBS Punjabi that errors can occur in a small number of instances.

It said consumers are encouraged to check their credit report regularly so that any inaccuracies could be investigated.

“It is important that consumers understand that if they feel something on their credit report is inaccurate that they can have it investigated for free by a credit reporting body,” it said.

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