Many of the issues that show up on your credit report can be fixed by using credit repair tactics. Credit repair can fix issues such as inaccurate and erroneous information along with any information that is patently fraudulent. If you have any information on your credit report that is questionable you can issue a dispute and see if you can get it removed.
Just because you have information on your account that is not yours, it does not necessarily mean that you have been the victim of identity theft. Some inaccurate accounts are just the result of human error.
When the credit bureaus compile the information for credit reports they use a complex program that uses a matching criteria algorithm. This program is designed to allow for some errors due to human mistakes in data entry and more. If you have a common name or your social security number is similar to someone else?s you could easily see someone else?s information show up on your account. This type of mistake is referred to as a file merger error and it actually happens all the time.
A file merger error is a rather simple item to repair. First off you must verify that it is a file merger error and not the result of actual identity theft. Make a phone call to the creditor and see it they have a record of the account. If there is a record of the account you may be the victim of identity theft and if there is no record it is likely a file merger error.
If it is a file merger error you will need to make a dispute and explain in detail how the account is incorrect and not yours. Ask them to block the other person?s accounts also. The credit bureaus will then have the typical 30 days to verify the accuracy of their information or have it removed from your credit report.
If it is identity theft, you will need to immediately request that the accounts not belonging to you are blocked. Then make sure that you report it to the police so that you can provide a detailed police report with all of the pertinent information along with a signed and sworn statement that the accounts are fraudulent.
If you have concerns about identity theft you can also place a fraud alert on your report. This is a statement that requests that any lender contact you before issuing credit. This is by no means foolproof and of course, it is not a guarantee against fraud but it is proactive action that you can take beforehand.
Identity theft is a growing problem. Be wary and protect your identity when you are online or even just out in the world. If you are afraid of identity theft you can also take into consideration a credit monitoring service that will notify you any time a change is made to your credit report.