Credit bureaus are typically pretty good at making sure they only have a single credit report per person. Of course, credit bureaus aren’t immune from making mistakes. Sometimes, you’ll have to deal with fragmented credit files, duplicate credit files, or mixed credit files.
While people often use these credit file type terms interchangeably, there are some very notable differences to be aware of. It is important that you are aware of what these terms mean so that you can make the best decision when determining the proper course of action.
What are Fragmented Credit Files?
Fragmented credit files are simply incomplete credit files. There might be missing information in the file or a few holes that need filling. It might show up as a missing file for a particular area or a missing file(s) for a particular period, such as 2016-2018.
Sometimes, people will refer to fragmented credit files as split files.
What Are Mixed Credit Files?
Having a mixed credit file is very rare. However, when it happens to you, you know that your credit information has become entangled with another person’s credit information. The usual reason that this happens is that you share a similar name, address, or social security number with another person.
Mixed credit files can mean that you are a victim of fraud, meaning someone is currently trying to steal your information to create a new identity.
What Are Duplicate Credit Files?
Duplicate credit files are when credit bureaus have multiple reports for a single person. Duplicate files pose the smallest threat of the three, as most of the large credit agencies have the ability to merge information with ease. If your files are separated, however, it could also mean that you have fragmented information on one or the other. Duplicate files often happen after big life events, such as a name change.
Keeping an Eye on Your Credit Score
The best way to avoid dealing with the disadvantages of these file mistakes is to keep an eye on your credit score. If you know that your credit score dropped after a recent shopping trip or after signing that mortgage, you should know.
If you don’t check your credit score regularly, it becomes difficult to explain why certain changes are happening.
If you find that your credit score is in okay shape, you might consider purchasing some tradelines to reach your goal.
If you are unable to find a relative or friend that wants to add you to their account as an authorized user, you always have the ability to go with a company like Boost Credit 101.
Your finances are a big part of your life and can make or break certain situations. When you’re ready to take the next step in your tradeline journey, make sure to get in contact with us!