A Brooklyn man named God won a battle with the credit reporting agency Equifax, which finally recognized his name after years of problems getting loans and higher limits, according to a court settlement.
The 27-year-old sued the agency last year in Brooklyn Federal Court because Equifax claimed its computer systems wouldn't allow it to issue a credit report under the name God despite several pleas that his name was real.
But now, the credit agency said it has made the "necessary alterations" so that its system recognizes the name for Gazarov and anyone else. His credit score is now near perfect, he told ABC News.
"I never claimed I'm the almighty leader of the world," Gazarov joked. "This country is built on immigrants, and there's nothing wrong with people carrying non-American names. It's not like I'm trying to say I'm Mickey Mouse and my address is Disney World in Orlando."
Equifax has also agreed to pay Gazarov an undisclosed amount of money to settle the lawsuit, said his lawyer James B. Fishman of Fishman & Mallon, LLP.
"I realized this is something American companies need to be able to deal with," Fishman told ABC News today. "There are plenty of people who come here from other countries, who have unusual names, and American companies need to understand they are real people with real names that should be recognized."
According to court records, Gazarov, who came to the US from Russia as a child, was denied a higher credit line from Capital One and a car loan from Infinity in recent years because Equifax reported he had no credit history.
"Our claim was that they were put on notice four to five times he was a real individual and that God was his real name," Fishman said. "He gave them his driver’s license, social security card, tax return and even a letter from his landlord to prove he’s real."
An Equifax representative even told Gazarov, a jewelry store owner, that he should consider changing his name, court documents said.
"But I'd never want to change my name," Gazarov told ABC News. "I was named after my grandfather who's also named God, and I'm proud to carry his name. He was a very big commander in army and well respected back home."