5 Things to Know About Mixed Credit Files
5 Things to Know About Mixed Credit Files
The major credit bureaus -- Equifax, Experian, and Trans Union – generate credit scores and credit histories based on information in the consumer's credit file. That information comes from credit card companies, lenders, and debt collectors. If that data includes information about another consumer, the other consumer’s information can become mixed with yours, and their credit may leak onto your own credit report, causing inaccuracies in the credit history as well as the identifying information about the consumer. These errors can cause poor credit ratings, credit denials, and higher interest rates.
This article is about that kind of credit error - mixed files — and it is common in the consumer credit reporting industry. Nearly every consumer reporting agency (CRA) has a errors of this type, and the credit industry estimates that as many as 3 Million people have this type of inaccurate information on their credit file.
How to Tell If You Have a Mixed Credit File
Most people with a mixed credit file won’t recognize the problem, even if they know what a mixed credit file is. People with someone else’s information on their credit report or unfamiliar hard inquiries into their report think that they are a victim of identity theft, because they don’t recognize the accounts on their consumer disclosure. The best way to tell you have been confused with someone else, is to review all three credit reports. Most often, consumers with a mixed file will have other people’s credit card accounts, lines of credit, or installment loans on only one of their consumer reports, and the other credit reporting agencies will have only accurate information about you. If the file is a true mix, your credit file will also likely have multiple versions of your name, street address, social security number or date of birth. If you think you may have a mixed credit file, call toll free today for a free initial consultation with our attorney, (888) 400-CREDit | (888) 400-2733.
1. Two People, One File
A mixed credit report happens when a credit bureau puts credit information for two or more people into a consumer's report. Because consumers have unique Social Security numbers, most people find it difficult to imagine that mixed could occur at all. But "mixed files" are not only common, they are one of the most well -documented errors, and they have been occurred since before Congress passed the Fair Credit Reporting Act in 1970.
The underlying idea behind a credit report is that a creditor can access a single report that provides a report containing information about a specific consumer. Federal law mandates that credit bureaus must follow procedures to assure the "maximum possible accuracy" of the reports that it prepares. Those report should reflect the complete credit history of a consumer, and that consumer only. This means that each report is unique to the consumer and should be delivered only in response to a request for that consumer's file: One consumer, one report. Files that include data about more than one consumers violate the federal standard for credit reports.
The problem for consumers with a mixed file is that credit bureaus' computers cannot are distinguish between consumers, because they are programmed to be over-inclusive. So consumers who share a common name, date of birth, or 7 of 9 digits in their social security number can be mixed. This leads to a false association of credit data to the wrong consumer. This means that a credit report may now contain information about more than one consumer rather than the required One-to-One relationship. This problem hurts the creditworthiness of both consumers. If you have information about more than one person on your credit file, talk to our attorneys about whether you have a mixed credit file, (888) 400-CREDit | (888) 400-2733.
2. It's About More than Credit Data
This misattribution of credit data causes problems for the consumer whose file now includes information about two consumers, including new accounts, late payments, defaulted accounts, public records and collections. In short the other person’s history is yours too.
Most often, this means that a person’s credit report reflects that the consumer is carrying more debt than they actually owe. This can change what appears to be your credit mix and prevent you from getting new credit and kill what would otherwise be a good credit score. Additionally, the payment history underlying that debt follows the debt, potentially leading to an inaccurate picture of the consumer's payment history.
Even if your own accounts are in good standing, the other individual’s credit can cause your FICO score or Vantagescore to tank because of high credit utilization of available credit for the other consumer. Virtually all credit scoring models will create their score based on the combined data of both consumers. Ultimately, this can lead to denials of auto loans, mortgages, student loans, and credit cards, or reductions in your credit limits. In short, even if you have a good credit history, it can appear that you have a bad credit history. If credit information belonging to another consumer shows up on you credit report, potential lenders will see this combined informaiton as belonging to you.
But credit data isn't the only thing that can be misattributed. Credit bureaus regularly misattribute identification information, public records, and the history of credit inquiries into the credit file. The misattibution of this information can not only effect your credit score but can also cause the mix to become worse and misattribution of more credit information. So, if you find identification information belonging to another consumer on you credit report, that data should be dispute this immediately. If your background check has public record information about another person or a misattributed criminal history, call us today at (888) 400-CREDit | (888) 400-2733.
3. Mixed Files Are Common for People with Common Names
Credit bureaus mix files when they are able to correlate multiple points identification associated with a specific credit account. Most often, mixed files happen to people with common names who share multiple points of personal identifications (known as "personal identifiers" or "demographic information"). This is true especially where these individuals live in close proximity. For example, people like
might be confused with people of the same name, living close to them. This is equally true for across the spectrum of ethnic communities. So for instance, people with names like
might just as easily expect to be victims of a mixed credit file. This is all the more true where these individuals live in tightly knit ethic communities where these names are common.
4. Family Members Can Mix As Well
People with common names are the only ones who can have mixed files. Individuals within the same family who share similar names or sequential social security numbers can also expect to have incorrect information on their credit files. This happens because the credit bureaus regularly look to former addresses and social security numbers to help with matching consumers to their credit history. Because family members may share the same former addresses, this can become a point of correlation between the credit history of two distinct consumers.
Additionally, when looking for matches of social security numbers, the credit bureaus consider a match 7 out of 9 digits to be a "complete" match. Thus, for consumers in the same family who obtain sequential social security numbers, the credit bureaus ignore any differences and consider them to be a complete match. Thus, even though those numbers and their owners are unique, the credit bureaus treat them as a single number.
So, if you have a similar social security number to your parents or siblings, you are a likely candidate for a mixed file.
5. Mixed Files Look Like Identity Theft
Most often when two consumers have been mixed by the credit bureaus, it results in the misattribution of credit to one of the consumers. This means that one consumer will likely see revolving credit accounts and identification information on their consumer report that they don't recognize as belonging to them. Because this is information that the consumer does not recognize, this can easily be mistaken for an identity theft, event though no fraud has occurred.
In order to determine if an unfamiliar account is the result of identity theft or mixed file, the best source of information is the creditor who opened the account or provided the data to the credit bureau. If the originating documents show that a different person applied for the account, then most likely the error is the result of a mixed file. On the other hand, if the application shows data that relates to you, then it is most likely an identity theft.Is your credit report "mixed" with someone else?
If your credit report contains information about another consumer or accounts that you do not recognize, you may be a victim of a "mixed" credit file. If you would like to review your credit report with a credit report attorney,Have a Credit Report Attorney Help with Your Mixed Credit File.
Our law firms has been helping consumers with credit report errors for nearly 30 years. We can provide a free consultation to review your credit report and fix your mixed credit file. We have helped thousands of clients to remove falsely attributed account information from their reports and get compensation under the FCRA.Free Consultation and Your Fees Paid by the Other Side
Your initial consultation is free and we won't charge you any fees to help you dispute your credit errors or helping to get your free credit report. If we file a lawsuit for you, your fees are paid by the other side and there is no charge if we can’t recover for you. Call now for help, (888) 400-CREDit | (888) 400-2733. or contact us now through this site.Consultations by Phone or Zoom Consultation
Our law firm has retooled after the pandemic. We can provide initial consultations by phone, Zoom or any of the other major conferencing platforms. There's no need to fight the credit bureaus by yourself. Get the representation of Michigan's most respected credit reporting attorneys. Call now (888) 400-CREDit | (888) 400-2733. or contact us now through this site.Continuing Support for Victims of Mixed Credit Files
After we have helped solve your mixed file, we will continue to support you with regular wellness checks, help with credit monitoring and help disputing any new inaccurate information on your report. We can help you get a free copy of your credit report, review any false credit card debt or accounts that falsely list you as the borrower. There is no need to go through “credit repair.” We can help restore your credit history and background reports. Call us today at (888) 400-CREDit | (888) 400-2733.Other Resources
If you are looking for additional resources, you can get a free copy of your credit file from the Annual Credit Report web site.
You can also get more information on false death reports directly from the the credit bureaus.
And you can make a complaint about your experience with the credit bureaus or see other consumer complaints by visiting
The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB)
The Federal Trade Commission (FTC)
There is also more information about credit reporting errors from false death reports and the Death Master File on the web,
There are four major credit bureaus that get information from lenders, debt collectors, and public record collectors. They are each required to provide consumers with a fee copy of their credit file every year.
1550 Peachtree Street Northeast
Atlanta, GA 30309
701 Experian Parkway
Allen, TX 75013
250 East Broad Street
Columbus, OH 43215
555 West Adams Street
Chicago, IL 60661
Additionally, there are dozens of other credit reporting agencies who collect and sell data about consumers. Here are some of the others and their addresses where you can request your free credit file.
Accurint Consumer Inquiry Department
P.O. Box 105610
Atlanta, GA 30348‑5610
ACXIOM Risk Mitigation
12303 Airport Way, Suite 300
Broomfield, CO 80021
Consumer Relations Department
P.O. Box 353
Chapin, South Carolina 29036
One Montgomery Street
San Francisco, CA 94104
7805 Hudson Road-Suite 100
Woodbury, MN 55125
Clarity Services, Inc.
15550 Lightwave Dr., Ste. 350
Clearwater, FL 33760
40 Pacifica, Suite 900
Irvine, CA 92618
Credential Check Corporation
575 East Big Beaver Road, Suite 300
Troy, MI 48083‑1300 USA
Data X ltd
325 E Warm Springs Rd Suite 202
Las Vegas, NV 89119
Early Warning Services, LLC
16552 North 90th Street #100,
Scottsdale, AZ 85260
Attention: Consumer Inquiries
P.O. Box 3653
Alpharetta, GA 30023
First Advantage Consumer Center
P.O. Box 105292
Atlanta, GA 30348‑5292
14002 E. 21st Street, Suite 1200
Tulsa, OK 74134
P.O. Box 105292
Atlanta, GA 30348-5292
1640 Airport Rd, Suite 115
Kennesaw, GA 30144
P.O. Box 503793
San Diego, CA 92150
For a more complete list of the companies that operate as consumer reporting agencies, you can see the list prepared by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) at their web site: https://www.consumerfinance.gov.Where do you practice?
Our office is located in Metropolitan Detroit, Michigan. We practice throughout the entire state, and we have been admitted to practice and made appearances in several other states where we are not licensed: California, Connecticut, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Kentucky, Louisiana, New York, Ohio, Oklahoma, and Virginia. If we are unable to practice in the state where your case needs to be filed, we can make a referral to another qualified credit report attorney near you.
If you are looking for an attorney to help in one of our service areas, call us toll free at (888) 400-CREDit | (888) 400-2733 or contact us now through this site.