Credit Score

The Most Likely Victims of Credit Report Swaps: Your Family

Advertiser Disclosure Comments 0 Comments

It’s not Freaky Friday, but many consumers are finding their financial lives swapped by accident—and it’s having big consequences.

A four-part series from the Columbus Dispatch called “Credit Scars” kicked off this week, examining the damage done when credit reporting agencies blend two credit reports together. The year-long investigation by the paper uncovered thousands of examples of credit reports being blended together. A few examples include a woman whose credit report was mixed with her daughter’s and another woman with a common name who actually had her credit report blended with multiple women by the same name.

[Credit Check Tool: Try Credit.com’s Free Credit Report Card]

So, who is likely to fall victim to credit report errors and how do multiple consumers’ credit reports get blended together?

The Dispatch examined the records of almost 1,300 individuals who complained to the FTC over the course of 2 and 1/2 years that their credit report had errors because it had been blended with another report. The findings showed that family members are far and away the most likely to have their credit files mixed. Second to direct family members are strangers, followed closely by strangers with the same name and then strangers with a similar name.

RECOMMENDED:
FREE CREDIT CHECK TOOL

Credit Report Card
Check your credit for free with this great tool from Credit.com. It offers expert advice on how to manage your credit. And you can return every 30 days for unlimited free updates.
Sign Up Here »

Interestingly, consumers also reported having their credit files mixed with their patients, roommates and neighbors, although the number of incidents for these complaints are very small.

The easiest way to make sure your credit report hasn’t been blended with another consumer’s file is to check your credit report regularly. Credit experts recommend checking your report once every six to 12 months.

[Featured Products: Compare credit score, report, and monitoring plans at Credit.com]

Image: DrBacchus, via Flickr

Comments on articles and responses to those comments are not provided or commissioned by a bank advertiser. Responses have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by a bank advertiser. It is not a bank advertiser's responsibility to ensure all posts and/or questions are answered.

Please note that our comments are moderated, so it may take a little time before you see them on the page. Thanks for your patience.

Certain credit cards and other financial products mentioned in this and other articles on Credit.com News & Advice may also be offered through Credit.com product pages, and Credit.com will be compensated if our users apply for and ultimately sign up for any of these cards or products. However, this relationship does not result in any preferential editorial treatment.