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Seeing is believing but, in credit reports, it isn’t always correct

If you were told to watch a 30 second video of people in a circle passing a basketball back and forth and you were counting the number of passes, would you notice a large Gorilla walk into the middle of the circle, pound his chest and walk out again? In a 1990 study cognitive psychologists Daniel Simons and Christopher Chabris did just that and found that about half of the people watching never noticed the Gorilla. 

When an individual hands you an application it is full of simple, basic details about the applicant, but there are also Gorillas in this maze of information. Here are a few quick steps to keep you from getting mauled.

Empty fields

Empty fields on a submitted application are usually there to keep you from finding out something bad. This goes for scribbles and other forms of misdirection. You can’t check the credit report to confirm information that is missing.

Matching game

Watch for items that don’t match up with your reports. There is a lot of fraud used by applicants trying to sneak through your screening process.


Addresses on a credit report can tell you how stable the Applicant has been regardless of the prior addresses entered in the application.

More is not always better

Too many answers on a report are a giant red flag. Multiple names, social security numbers or lots of addresses mean trouble. Names are very important if you are also checking criminal history and a fake name, alias, or even a married name different from a non-married name will keep you from obtaining accurate results. All names usually appear on the credit report.

Don’t trust the applicant

This is business. While the typical credit report has some errors in it, they are usually obvious. Information in the report should line up with those in the application.

Don’t trust just the scores

They are occasionally misleading. Very little credit may be a problem for you but it could still give the applicant a good credit rating. Check available credit and negative items for additional information.

Don’t let the Gorilla get you!  

Make sure your applications are filled out completely and correctly and check all your reports for information that differs from what was put on the application. To learn more about applicant screening visit us at


Executive Credit Management is a full-service Debt Collection and Applicant Screening agency with over 20 years experience located in Central New Jersey. We provide excellent service in the following areas: Employment ScreeningBusiness Screening, and Tenant Screening. Executive Credit Management belongs to a number of Skip Tracing databases and offers services to help locate and confirm the current address of missing debtors. Other services provided are: litigation evaluation on all lawsuit decisions, improvement of the quality of the applicant data, Lawsuit Monitoring, Handling of Debtor Disputes. Executive Credit Management features the best Call Monitoring System in the Debt Collection industry.