A Simple Guide To Fragmented Credit Reports

When you defrag your computer what you are doing is organizing your files. The defragging process takes the data in your computer that is spread out over your hard drive and puts the data back together in an organized fashion. So you might ask how defragging your computer relates to a fragmented credit report.

Credit reporting agencies do not keep your information neatly tucked into a single file folder waiting for you or a creditor to request the information. Rather your information is in data bits spread out through a system and when it is requested the information is pulled and put together in a file. Usually the information is tied together by a social security number. When a single credit reporting agency has more than one credit file on you it is considered fragmented and there are several reason as to why this can happen but suffice it to say it is because the data bits of information do not all come together in one file. Conditions that can make this happen are:
  • File size limitations: Overly large credit files may come back in sections
  • Name changes: Did you get married and change your name? You must notify credit reporting agencies of actions such as name changes even though the social security number is a common unifier it may not always work out that way when the actual credit report is pulled if there are too many name changes. You must change your name with all of your creditors whenever your name changes in order for it to be correct on your credit report.
  • Name used when applying for credit: Did you fill out that credit application using Susie Smith instead of Susan Smith? Be consistent and use your formal name when applying for credit.
  • Incomplete files: Partial information supplied to the credit reporting agency by consumer reporting agencies where you have established credit
  • Inaccurate data: Did you invert a number by mistake in your social security number when applying for that credit card? Did the retailer input a wrong number when checking your credit?
  • Data: Many types of data are included in a credit report, credit card accounts, public records, liens, credit collection agencies, home mortgages, and apartment communities are just a few. When there is a lot going on with a credit report it can cause the report to become fragmented and duplicate and triplicate reports coming from the same credit reporting agency can be the result.
The problem with fragmented credit reports is that they are not good for your credit score! When your credit report is fragmented, it is likely that the different reports that are generated will all have a different credit score simply because they all contain different information. But the good news is that you can defrag your credit report when this happens! You can contact the credit reporting agency and get your credit report files organized the same way you defrag your computer!
  • Contact your creditors and organize your names.
  • Go over your credit report and if a creditor is reporting multiple times for the same account notify them to clean up their reporting or challenge the file with the credit agency and they will notify the creditor
  • Ensure your correct social security number is used on all of your reported files
  • If you have collections ensure that it is reported once by the agency
  • Ensure your good reports are being filed with the credit reporting agency, files you pay on time like utilities.
  • Challenge the credit reporting agency to remove old dead files that are over the time allowed for reporting purposes.
By taking the time to clean up your credit files you are actually defragging a fragmented credit report!
This article was contributed by Chase Sagum. Chase writes about credit repair and personal finance issues/opportunities.


  1. Note that just about any reasonable fixing credit report mend system may have test contest characters used to assist you along this process.

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