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What do you do if your Social Security Number doesn’t work?

Ok, so this is me asking all of you. My social security number isn’t “working”—what should I do?

Example #1: I just got paid for an ad contract. I decided that I’m going to take the money out month by month, so I wanted to open a PayPal Money Market Fund. All well and good, but when I enter my birth date and SSN…doesn’t work. It says “unable to process. please try again.”

So I fired off a request for assistance, we’ll see what I get.

Example #2:

Second, I signed up with Lending Club to get referral links. I try to enter the same thing there and they’re also not able to process it.

What do I do now? I have no proof that my identity has been stolen…but then again I’m having trouble with Augh. I don’t even know what’s going on with my life.

Yes, the SSA knows my new name. I did that a while back. I have a card.

It’s not like my birth date and SSN changed. And I know they’re the right numbers…something I’ve known forever. I have an identity but am unable to use it. It’s not like I’ve got another one just lying around! *cry of extreme frustration*

Ideas? Thoughts? Where do I start?

Update, I just signed up with Why? Because it’s actually worth $14.95 to me to get all this straightened out. And they have customer service. And the first month is free, so I can at least see if things get straightened out in that period. Annual credit report is less easy to work with. We’ll see how it goes. Had the same problems signing up, but then I notified customer service. If I don’t get an e-mail back by 2:30pm tomorrow (when I get home from work) I’ll call their help center.

{ 4 trackbacks }

Truly Free Credit Report — Social Security Number follow-up | Mrs. Micah: Finance for a Freelance Life
February 2, 2008 at 3:27 pm
Progress on improving my credit score and developing a credit history.
February 20, 2008 at 10:24 pm
Still Trying to Create a Credit History
March 26, 2008 at 11:31 am
Mrs. Micah Gets Her First Credit Card
June 10, 2008 at 11:16 am


ms. m&p February 1, 2008 at 9:41 pm

Whoa. That’s actually really scary. I think you should call the SSA right away and see if they can give you any information. Also, keep a close eye on your credit reports if you can. I know from my friend who works at a bank that people’s SSNs get stolen quite a bit–I’m not saying that happened, but it’s possible. I’m not an expert in what to do, but if I were you, I’d probably make the SSA my first call. Best of luck, and please let us know how it works out.

Simple Tam February 1, 2008 at 9:59 pm

Sorry to hear that Mrs.M. If I were in your place, I would:
1) Check my SSN card to confirm that I am not typing it in wrong.
2) Go to the SSA in person and verify that my SSN has not changed. They should have a record of how many times an inquiry was made on your SSN, you can ask them for that.
3) After that is sorted out, check out your credit card stmts/bank accounts and make sure there are no unfamiliar entries.

Best of luck Mrs.M. Please keep me posted on how it goes. I am sure its all some small glitch which will get sorted out.

Hilda February 1, 2008 at 10:27 pm

Oh, no. I hope you get it straightened out. Annual credit report is a pain to deal with because they’re free. I couldn’t get my stuff on-line and ended up calling them instead. I waited for my report to come in through snail mail. Good luck, MrsM and keep us posted.

Money Blue Book February 1, 2008 at 11:05 pm

Mrs. M,
Well, I think you did the right thing by requesting your credit report right away (I would have done the same thing). Although your choice of makes me wrinkle my brow. I really dislike their shady and misleading advertising approach. They aren’t free at all. Hope you get things sorted out!

RacerX February 2, 2008 at 3:52 am

Have youi asked or signed up for any credit blocking or idenity blocking service. This is how it act is your number is blocked. If so it would be the next step to get them to remove. Hate for yout to go to SSA because it will take a whole day, at least 🙁

Patti February 2, 2008 at 5:53 am

Maybe the SSA website has information about what how to troubleshoot – that’s where I’d start since you might have quite a long hold time if you call.

Agree with everyone who has posted so far – SSA, the credit bureaus and what you’ve done signing up with

vh February 2, 2008 at 10:59 am

Hmmm. That does sound alarming.

I would go TO the Social Security office. It will NOT take all day. Far from it. Go online to the Social Security Administration’s website. There’s a place where you can make an appointment, online, at a SS office near you. This eliminates hassle and wait time. When I tried it, I got right in. The wait was no longer than about ten minutes.

If you can’t get in there within a week or two, you might try the Internal Revenue Service. Their agents should also have access to records having to do with your Social Security number. It’s possible to go into an IRS office and just wait until an agent will speak with you. Don’t know how that will work during tax season, but even if you have to wait a while, it may be worth it. The IRS does has investigative agents, and so if it looks like something fishy is going on, they may be able to get to the bottom of it sooner than later.

Remember when you go in to these offices that they X-ray your belongings and will take a pocket knife away from you, so if you carry anything in the purse that you don’t want confiscated, leave it in your car.

RacerX has a good thought about credit blocking–might want to un-block, if you’ve done that. But that said…I’ve got mine blocked & have never had a problem like that.

Mrs Micah's Mom February 2, 2008 at 12:04 pm

I agree that you need to get in touch with the SSA as soon as possible. If you decide to phone, prepare yourself with a book you can read by bits and pieces, chocolate, water, and calming background music. “As soon as possible” is probably the next work day, Monday.

Ryan S. February 2, 2008 at 1:52 pm

Mrs. M,

Man, that’s concerning. I would agree that getting in touch with the SSA as well as the credit rating bureaus (I don’t exactly like those guys, but hey, we gotta do what we gotta do) asap is necessary.

Good luck.


Danielle March 9, 2008 at 11:27 am

Alright I can’t get a new i.d. because my mom put my stuff somewhere my ssi card and birth certificate and other stuff I am 21 yrs. old I have asked her to give me my stuff she rufuses to what should I do? so is it against the law to do this stuff? espically keeping someones social security card thing I know she wouldn’t take my ssi number and all of my stuff and pretend to be me I look nothing like her I look like my dad w/ the same nose and ears and lips and eyes and cheeks but anyway I don’t want to get her into any trouble but she rufuses to give it to me thinking I am gonna lose the stuff which I am not I am an adult not a child she always says your gonna forgot or lose the stuff I don’t know what else to do what should I do or say?

aj March 17, 2010 at 11:12 am

I owe on a loan. I received a message on my phone that I have a block to my social security number. The guy says he is from some law firm from another state. I never authorized any one to block my social security number. My questions is will that prevent me from getting a job when they do the background check? What does blockage of social security number mean?

aj March 17, 2010 at 11:28 am

Thank you for your quick response. The guy said the us governmnet put a block so I became concerned especially if I didn’t get anything by mail.


Security Products July 15, 2010 at 6:27 pm

I don’t know if this helps but it sounds like someone has been playing with you social security number. You can legaly have it changed if you feel you have been a victim of identity theft or you should probably hire a security monitoring firm. They monitor your credit and alert you to any changes.

DHarrolle March 14, 2014 at 2:25 am

My SSN is similarly messed up. The first bank I opened an account with suggested I check with my local SS office to have my SSN looked at because it had come up with a red flag, though I opened the account just fine because I had my SS card. I did as requested and my local SS office said nothing came up, the number was clean. The second bank account I opened I was met with the same problem, red flag on my SSN, but I was able to open the account no problem because of my card. That bank suggested I look at my credit score and I did, again nothing came up. I have a thin file like I should because I haven’t established credit yet. I still don’t know what to do about it, since the SS office doesn’t see anything wrong. It’s just a headache I always have to work around to do things.

Sarah Scott November 22, 2016 at 2:27 pm

This happened to me when I tried to get my licence. I went to the Social Security Office and waited for (I kid you not) 3 hours. When my number was finally called I walked up to the lady behind the desk. She told me that she couldn’t find anything wrong with my Number. I turns out, It was my name that was wrong. They put my First name, Middle Initial, and Last name. My birth Certificate had my Actual middle name. So the Social Security Card had wrong information. It still isn’t working.

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