I've heard a lot about this story over the last week; people are being denied credit because they share a name with someone on the terrorist watch list.
If this happens to you, I'm not sure how I could help. If you've got run-of-the mill problems with your credit report, disputes with creditors or ruthless collectors, then there are things you can do to fix the situation. Might take a month, and a few follow-up letters, but we'd probably succeed in the end.
But this thing with the terrorist watch list, this is different. For one thing, your dispute isn't really with the creditor. The creditors have been advised by the government not to extend credit or services to anyone on the list. So if your middle name is Hassan, and that's some terrorist's name, then they're not going to take a chance. It's not that they're using the list as a "consumer screener" as some "civil rights advocates" claim. They want to make loans. Obviously, they're too eager to make loans, as we're learning in the subprime market right now.
So they're not capriciously denying credit to guys named Hussein. But they know that if they should accidentally grant a mortgage loan to someone who turns up on the list, our government will freeze those accounts and sieze everything. And the bank will lose out big-time. So they're not going to take the chance.
Ultimately, you're not dealing with creditors who are reasonable and just want to make a profit. You're dealing with government officials, thugs with guns, and they're not going to go out of their way to help you.
I think all you can do is try to negotiate with the creditor and get them past their fear. Only after they are convinced the government won't crush them will they be willing to write these loans.
Fortunately, this isn't exactly a common occurrence. It's obvious what the media's real point is in giving so much coverage to credit denials of a whopping 12 people. But their hand-wringing isn't going to actually help those few people who are denied access to credit unfairly. I'm not sure what is.