Who's at risk for credit report errors?
A new report on the accidental blending of credit reports by reporting agencies identifies the most likely victims.
This post comes from Kali Geldis at partner siteCredit.com.
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 yearlong 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 of the same name.
So, who is likely to fall victim to credit report errors and how do multiple consumers' credit reports get blended together? (Post continues below.)
The Dispatch examined the records of almost 1,300 individuals who complained to the FTC over the course of two and a half 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.
Interestingly, consumers also reported having their credit files mixed with their patients, roommates and neighbors, although the number of incidents for these complaints is 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.
More on Credit.com and MSN Money:
Copyright © 2014 Microsoft. All rights reserved.
Fundamental company data and historical chart data provided by Morningstar Inc. Real-time index quotes and delayed quotes supplied by Morningstar Inc. Quotes delayed by up to 15 minutes, except where indicated otherwise. Fund summary, fund performance and dividend data provided by Morningstar Inc. Analyst recommendations provided by Zacks Investment Research. StockScouter data provided by Verus Analytics. IPO data provided by Hoover's Inc. Index membership data provided by Morningstar Inc.
ABOUT SMART SPENDING
LATEST BLOG POSTS
Homeowners associations ban them and environmentalists love them. All that aside, though, a clothesline saves you money.
VIDEO ON MSN MONEY
BLOGS WE LIKE
MUST-SEE ON MSN
- Video: Easy DIY smoked meats at home
A charcuterie master shares his process for cold-smoking meat at home.
- Jetpacks about to go mainstream
- Weird things covered by home insurance
- Bing: 70 percent of adults report 'digital eye strain'