Joined: 02 Jun 2004
Posted: Thu Jun 03, 2004 4:53 am Post subject: Mixed / Split Credit Files:
Since we have so many loan officers in one spot, I wanted to bring up an important matter concerning consumers and their credit files, mixed and or split credit reports.
Reasons for such mixes include:
1. Common name; father / son (living at the same address, & also not adding Sr. or Jr. when applying for credit).
* Important when consumers complete applications, that you take every step to ask them if they have a middle name or suffix to be added to their name.
2. Clerical mistakes; like spelling names wrong; inverting social security numbers when entered into system to pull credit report. Even entering in incorrect addresses.
* If in doubt on the information - it is best to wait on the consumer to confirm the information, or to run a social search to pull in more identifying information to be sure before pulling the credit reports.
** If you are not carefull and enter in an incorrect social security number, the risk is that if it is a legit social security belonging to someone else - it may result is a mixing of both individuals credit files together into one.
3. When reporting data to the CRAs; enter in personal information wrong... incorrect name, address, social security number...
Consumers need to be aware of clerical error factor and the need to review their credit reports on a regular basis... they need to be on top of calling the credit reporting agencies, (whom are quite capable of telling the consumers which creditor was responsible for the inaccurate information they are seeing on the credit reports) so that they can contact the creditor and update their records to fix mistakes like this.
4. Spouses; making the mistake of typing in the one spouse's social security number to show as belonging to the other spouse - this is not good - because each credit report is suppose to be individual to just one person (and what you accomplish here is a merged credit report among spouses) and then the scores are no longer correct.
5. Co-signing for children or other people, sometimes again the lender will match the social security number up with the wrong person.
* Mortgage lenders pull 3 bureau credit reports through different system with different format then what the consumers are able to see or benefit from to know if their files have been mixed.
1. Experian is the best bureau for catching mixed files, cause it can show 2 ways, it will show additional names & addresses and possibly incorrect accounts not belonging to the consumer, but if the consumer gets the chance to review the credit report from a lenders direction & knows something is not right, in these cases the consumer will have to write directly to Experian & provide copy of drivers license with request to unmix the file.
2. Sometimes it is obvious to the lenders without the consumers assistance, the reports are showing additional social security number(s) of the other individual(s) mixed on the file. Fix the same way by writing to the CRA with request to unmix the file.
Equifax: The files are split, will see numbers saying Equifax 1 and Equifax 2, in this case. What is different is that two credit scores are pulled on one bureau - one for each file. But it is all merged on the mortgage reports - these are very complicated.
a. Because it may very well be all of the consumers info and just got split cause 2 names where used like (married verses maiden name)... if that is the case - Equifax advises to add both scores and divide be 2 for the end score to be used. But also follow up informing Equifax that the file needs to be re-merged.
b. Other split may be by common name like (father / son) where there are two people making up the files. These need to be unmixed.
c. Consumers using and pulling their personal credit report on a daily basis from monitoring services can cause problems, compiling soft hits to the credit report, if the file gets two large - Equifax can not handle it and will result in a split file. Where some accounts will show on one, and some on the other credit report. Need to contact Equifax with request to re-merge the credit file.
TransUnion: like Equifax they don't show additional social security numbers only additional names, addresses, and possible accounts that don't belong. The consumer must contact TransUnion with copy of drivers license to be updated.
So, depending on the vender and software used, besides the type of creditor - different things can result when trying to pull credit reports. Sometimes it just looks like you have no credit history, and other times it mixes other peoples credit reports right in with yours and if creditors don't know to look for the warning signs, this can unfortunately result in a consumer being declined for credit.
The CRAs don't go 1st and foremost by the social security number.
Listed below is how the repositories assign importance to this information (from most important to least important). Notice the SSN is not the most important:
Last Name, First Initial, Address, SSN
Zip Code, Address, Last Name, First Name, SSN, AKA/Alias Name
Last Name, First Name, SSN , Address
Once a file is mixed it is a problem that needs to be monitored from there on out, since unless the consumer investigates and locates the source which caused the mix it is likely to happen again.
The best that the consumer can do from there on out is only use one deviation of their name spelling, and update all of their current creditors to correct that name listing.
Also in the case that it might be father son mix with the same name, if they share the same address this further complicates the CRAs ability to unmix the files, if they are living at different addresses, then I suggest the consumer have a serious talk to the credit reporting agency about considering suppressing that one address to help keep the files unmixed.
Just wanted to share observations and ideas on how to help the consumers when dealing with mixed and split credit files,
Father-Son, Mother-Daughter, Junior-Senior-Trey [Generational Designators], Common Names, Variations on Social Security Numbers and Other Mixed File Issues
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