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Topics addressed on April 14, 2010:
Multiple name variations appearing on your credit report
Too many versions of my name come up on my credit report. How do I delete the wrong ones?
Your credit report will reflect all of the names you have used when applying for credit. So, if you have applied using your full name, a shortened version of your name and a nickname, all three would appear on your credit report.
Listing all of the names reported to Experian gives you a complete record of the names associated with your credit history. They are not “wrong” or “mistakes,” although some frequently cited studies erroneously count them as such.
For example, if Jonathan Q. Consumer applied for credit using his full name, as Jon Consumer and as J.Q. Consumer, all three variations would accurately appear on his credit report. If one of your creditors spells your name wrong when reporting your account, then that name spelling will also be reported.
Each of your accounts is linked to the name as it was reported to us, so deleting your name could interfere with the correct reporting of your accounts. If there is truly a wrong version, check with our consumer service representative to see if it can be safely deleted.
Having a complete list also is important because it could alert you to potential fraud. If a name appears that you do not recognize or have never used it could be the first indicator that you may be an identity theft victim. By including every name reported as belonging to you, Experian ensures you have vital information that can alert you so that you are able to take action.
We strongly recommend that you pick a name to use when applying for credit and always use it. One possibility is to always use your full legal name as it appears on your birth certificate. You might also decide to use a nickname your friends or family use. Whatever you choose, being consistent and printing clearly will more likely result in only one name appearing on your credit report.
Thanks for asking.
- The "Ask Experian" team