A study of credit scores for mortgage applicants by the Consumer Federation of America and the National Credit Reporting Association found that one in ten files (155 out of 1,545) contained at least one, and as many as three, additional repository consumer reports.
The same study also found that it was very common for the additional reports to contain a mixture of credit information, some of which belonged to the subject of the report requested and some which did not.
Common reasons for the additional reports include:
1. Confusion between generations with the same name (Jr., Sr., II, III, etc.).
2. Mixed files with similar names, but different social security numbers.
3. Mixed files with matching social security numbers, but different names.
4. Mixed files that listed accounts recorded under the applicant’s name, but with the Social Security number of the co-applicant.
5. Name variations that appeared to contain transposed first and middle names.
6. Files that appeared to track credit under the applicant’s nickname.
7. Spelling errors in the name.
8. Transposing digits on the social security number.
The results of the study revealed that almost 44% of consumer complaints that are reported as ID theft should actually be classified as a credit bureau complaint, as the issue really has nothing to do with ID theft, but has to do with miss-matched data appearing on consumer reports that shouldn’t be there.
What’s even more interesting about this, is how the credit bureaus are making so much money now on credit monitoring to track “ID Theft,” even though most “ID theft” is really caused by the bureaus miss-matching data and putting it on the wrong consumers report.