It isn’t unusual for parents to name a child after themselves or after one of their own parents; or even for people to have names in common with others who are unrelated. Sometimes it can lead to credit problems in the form of a duplicate credit report, or “dupe.” It isn’t common, but it does happen. Whatever the cause, it is wise to understand how to handle a dupe report, in the rare situation that one does arise.
I have two reports?
A dupe means that a credit bureau has two credit reports in your name, each with its own score. The scores will be different because the details contained in each dupe won’t be the same and that can cause you serious problems when you apply for credit.
Dupes can be a sign of a co-mingled report, or “mixed file.” This means that your credit data is confused with that of someone by the same name; perhaps your parent or someone you don’t even know. This is the most challenging dupe to resolve.
An incorrect entry on a credit report is generally easy to correct; typically, the creditor who placed the entry has issued incorrect information. When protested, the creditor acknowledges the mistake and rescinds the entry.
In a mixed report, the problem is far more complex because the credit bureau’s matching logic is confusing you and someone else, thinking you are both the same individual.
That isn’t mine!
The problem isn’t that lending institutions are sending incorrect information to the bureaus, but rather that the bureaus are placing it on the wrong credit report: yours. In order to resolve it, you must have someone manually go through your report with you to verify each entry that belongs to you and each that does not.
Once that process is complete, the bureaus can suppress the incorrect entries from your credit report and restore your score to what it should be.
Load me up!
Depending on the bureau, you don’t have the ability to just load up your report to infinity. Your credit score takes a beating if you apply for every credit card offer that comes your way, yet some people do so. That means your credit report may be as long as the Great Wall of China. By continuing to add entries to your credit report, you eventually max it out.
Let’s solve this.
Sadly, some ill-advised consumers seek assistance from the wrong credit repair companies who try to leverage the file size through a dangerous practice known as “bumpage.” By adding additional entries to the credit report, eventually certain data gets bumped off the report due to the size limit. But it doesn’t just get dropped; in fact, the credit repair agency has just created a dupe because the excess data gets pushed into a second credit report.
Unfortunately, none of these issues are quick to correct. Don’t push your file size and force it into a second credit report. And if you end up with a mixed file, then you absolutely must track down someone at each bureau to manually remove each incorrect entry. Further, they must be forever suppressed.
It is critical that you review your credit report annually to be sure incorrect entries don’t continually show up, especially if you share the name of a parent or have experienced similar concerns in the past. It may help to seek the assistance of a qualified credit repair specialist such as Ovation. Navigating the repair of dupes and mixed files can be a daunting task to resolve on your own and a little help could be a welcome relief. Contact us today to let us know how we can help.