Fixing File Merger Errors

Not Identity Theft

Not all mystery accounts are the result of identity theft. They may be the result of a little bug in the credit reporting system that can cause what is known as a “file merger error”, which occurs when someone else’s credit data is merged with yours. This may be frustrating, but it is actually pretty innocent.

Checking the Facts

If you find accounts on your credit report that you do not recognize, call the creditors. If they have no record of the accounts you are most likely a victim of a file merger error, rather than identity theft. This is easily cured with a little bit of credit repair. A letter to the credit bureau listing the erroneous accounts, and a statement that you have been a victim of a file merger error should do the trick.

The Cause

File merger errors occur because the credit bureaus intentionally allow for a limited number of non-matching data fields when compiling your credit report. This flexibility accommodates data entry errors which can occur in the normal course of business.