Mixed or merged credit file errors: who is affected?
Has another person’s information been included in your credit file? Has it damaged your credit score?
Legal help is available.
Credit scores are important in everyday life. They play a role in how much interest you pay on loans, which loans you qualify for, and can even play a role in whether you get hired for a job. For these reasons, it is essential that credit reporting companies use accurate data to determine your credit score.
Credit score companies make mistakes. And that includes what’s called a mixed or merged file error – when credit rating companies include information in your report that doesn’t belong to you. This can happen when another person has a similar name or social security number to another person or among members of the same family.
According to a report by Market watch. Consumers affected by this type of error have the right under federal law, the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA), to accurately report and challenge any incorrect information that may be included, which could harm their score.
Are you eligible?
If your credit report contains information about someone else or information not attributable to you, you may be eligible for a free complaint review and legal assistance to have your report corrected.
Fill out the form on this page for more information.
Credit score errors limit opportunities
Incorrect credit ratings can have major consequences.
In one case, a brother and sister were denied loans and opportunities because the three major credit agencies continued to confuse the identifications of the two.
“If it was just one agency or one company that was wrong, maybe I could set the record straight, but the credit system is a thicket of overlapping forces, so tightly knit that it can be hard to tell which part of the system makes the mistake,” wrote the brother and author of the article, Mitchell Clark, for The edge.
According to Clark, when an error on a consumer’s credit report is resolved, it is not corrected elsewhere and the error persists with no obvious means of attributing responsibility to a single party. Clark said he and his sister were denied loans and credit cards because of agency mistakes.
The Marketwatch report detailed a case where a daughter alleged her father died from stress that he couldn’t care for his cancer-stricken wife while dealing with mixed file errors on her credit report.
Nonchalant credit bureaus
The credit bureaus seem unwilling, unable or even reluctant to make corrections in many cases.
A 2012 Federal Trade Commission (FTC) study showed that credit bureaus only changed reports 20% of the time when consumers disputed errors.
In 87% of cases where changes were made to reports, the changes did not impact the score. The study also found that 5% of consumers had errors in their credit report that could affect the “likelihood of receiving credit or the terms of credit received.”
An FTC follow-up study found that 70% of consumers questioned in a survey “continue to believe that at least some of the disputed information is inaccurate”. Fifty percent said they planned to drop their dispute.
FCRA Protects Consumers Against Credit Report Errors
Reporting offices, including Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion, are required to be accurate under federal law. Consumers have the right to see their credit report and to be informed if their credit report has led to a loan, credit card or other credit decision being declined.
These are protections listed in the Fair Credit Reporting Act. Consumers can dispute incorrect information and ask the bureaus to remove outdated information. Credit bureaus have shown that they are slow to correct individual reports. In 2015, Equifax, Experian and TransUnion reached agreements with attorneys general in 30 states.
Join a Mixed Credit Report Investigation
Credit bureaus are required to provide accurate information to lenders about your credit history. Finding the root of errors and asking offices to correct them can be a daunting task. A lawyer who specializes in credit report error cases can help you navigate and seek compensation for errors caused by the bureaus.
If you have discovered that someone else’s information has been included in your credit score, you may be eligible to participate in a credit report error investigation.
Complete the form on this page for a FREE case evaluation.