Did you know that sometimes credit reports can become “mixed” or “confused”? This situation is rare, but it is good to be aware of nonetheless. In a recent Credit Countdown video, credit expert John Ulzheimer explained what these terms mean. Plus, he also describes some other types of rare credit file issues.
Keep reading for more on mixed files and watch the video version at the end of this article.
A mixed credit file erroneously contains information from more than one consumer within the file. This is due to a mistake at the credit reporting agency where the matching logic software that is used to match a consumer’s information to their credit file ends up matching the wrong consumer’s information with someone else’s credit file.
If you have a mixed credit file, that means you have someone else’s data in your file that should not be there, whether the information is good or bad. Of course, it can be especially problematic if the incorrect information is derogatory.
The good news is that mixed credit files are extremely uncommon. On the rare occasions when mixed files do occur, it is often between two people who have the same names and addresses and possibly similar Social Security numbers, as may be the case with family members who share a name and live at the same address.
Mixed credit files are also sometimes referred to as “confused” files because the credit reporting system has confused one consumer with another.
A duplicate file simply means that there are multiple credit reports in your name at the credit reporting agency. According to John, having duplicate credit files can be an issue if one of the files generates a credit score that is lower than the others.
Professionals in the credit industry may refer to instances of duplicate files as “dupes” for short.
While duplicate files may occasionally cause problems, the credit reporting agencies have ways to resolve the issue by merging the dupes.
Another type of inaccurate credit file is known as a fragmented file or a “frag.”
Fragmented files lack some of the information that is supposed to be on your credit report, so only a fragment of your credit file is present.
Missing information on your credit file can, of course, prevent your credit score from being as high as it should be, since you might be lacking important credit history, or it may be otherwise not fully representative of your full credit profile.
Mixed files, duplicate files, and fragmented files are all cases in which your credit report may be inaccurate. It should be stressed that these situations occur very rarely, so they will most likely not apply to you. However, if you find yourself dealing with one of these file types, contact the credit reporting agency so that they can resolve the issue for you.