A mixed file is one of the most popular and well-documented errors in credit reporting, and they have been occurring since the 1970s. But what is a mixed file?

A mixed file occurs when a consumer’s credit report contains other consumer’s information that has been mixed in. Essentially, the Credit Reporting Agencies’ over-encompassing algorithm put this information in because the computers thought it belong to the consumer. The issue with this is if a bank pulls Consumer A’s credit report and it contains Consumer B’s debts or charge offs, then Consumer A’s credit score will decrease because of credit delinquencies that should not be attributed to Consumer A.

This issue commonly arises with individuals that have frequently used names, such as John Smith or Jose Hernandez. When two John Smiths live in the same geographical area, the Credit Reporting Agencies’ systems struggle with differentiating these two individuals as being separate consumers because each John Smith share several personal identifiers typically used to distinguish between consumers.

Another common cause for a mixed file is family members with generational suffixes. For example, when there is a John Smith, Snr. and a John Smith, Jr. often the Credit Reporting Agencies will not be able to differentiate between them. This causes one family member’s debts to be reporting on the other family members credit report.

If you see information on your credit report that is not yours, feel free to give my office a call and set up a free consultation.