Cleaning up Mixed Credit Files

How many people can you find of Facebook that share your same name? Are you lucky enough to have more than just a couple? It can be fun to find out who in the world shares your same name and to see how their lives differ from your own. When it comes to credit reporting though, you might not consider that such a lucky circumstance.

In a few cases, credit reporting agencies have attributed bad credit items to the wrong person’s report, simply because they share the same name. The problem is that they aren’t looking at the Social Security numbers, they’re just taking into consideration the name. And when you have a name like John Smith, you’re bound to be mixed up with about a hundred other people, making detangling the mess a difficult task.

If you find your credit score dropping for no reason, request your three free credit reports—TransUnion, Experian and Equifax—and look for any discrepancies. If you find any, send a written letter of complaint, disputing certain charges available on the report. Then file a complaint with your state attorney general, the Federal Trade Commission and Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. Don’t go for a lawsuit unless it becomes absolutely necessary.

You should check in on your credit report periodically in the future to ensure that similar problems don’t happen again. In today’s world, you can’t afford to not be aware of what’s happening with your credit. You will need a good score at some point in your life and you’ll never regret being prepared.

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