We’ve all heard of identity theft, and unfortunately a large number of us have fallen victim to it at one point or another. But who has heard of mixed credit files? A mixed credit file is a phenomenon wherein two consumers are linked to the same credit profile, the result of both consumers have similar names and identities. Writer Anselmo Moreno of the Bakersfield Californian vividly remembers shopping for a car just after he turned 18 years old, and being told after the car salesman checked his credit that his score was 800–due to him having paid off three cars with his credit union. Moreno, who shared the same name and mailing address as his father, had had his credit file merged with Anselmo Sr’s–a trend which apparently is happening more frequently than you might imagine. Check out Moreno’s shocking but true story:
“Turning 18 is a milestone for most teenagers, and mine was no exception. I was finally legally able to engage in activities teenagers salivate for, such as getting my own apartment, opening my own bank account, obtaining a credit card, and most importantly, trading in my vehicle for something a bit more desirable.
I went to a car dealership to check out some cars, and was quickly approached by a car salesman.”
Click here to read the rest of Moreno’s tale, including what to do if you discover that you are the victim not of identity theft but of a mixed credit file.
I have honestly never heard of such a thing before. I’m really glad I know about this phenomenon, because I think the natural thing to do when one sees strange information on their credit report, or a bogus score, is to assume that they’ve become a victim of identity theft. Not necessarily the case; you could just literally have the same name (or a freakishly similar one) to somebody else, and one of the three credit reporting bureaus goofed and merged both your credit profiles. Either way, Moreno explains how to correct the situation. And fortunately it’s a lot easier than dealing with an identity thief!