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How Credit Bureaus Reference Data

Credit files are stored and referenced at the three bureaus by name and address. It is a misconception that the social security number is used as a primary factor in associating credit reporting.

Your creditor can report good or bad credit data on you to the bureaus using your primary address and full name. Although it is encouraged, it is not required for them to include the social security number.

This is sometimes a cause for mixed credit files.


If your name were John Smith, and your son’s name is John Smith Jr. and your son started to acquire credit while living with you, this could be a perfect scenario for mixed credit files. If Junior charges a large amount of credit and fails to pay his bills, you may be contacted by creditors due to this confusion.

If you have similar names in your household, it is important to stay on top of your credit file.


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