Credit Advice

Having one credit report when you have accounts under different names

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Credit Advice

Having one credit report when you have accounts under different names

Dear Experian,

I have credit under several different last names. I want to get all of these credit reports under one name. How can I do this?

- KSB

Dear KSB,

Having credit accounts under several names does not necessarily mean you will have different credit reports. Usually, Experian is able to match the accounts even when they are under different variations of your name.

When you change your credit accounts to your new name, the changes will be reported to Experian, and your credit report will be updated to show the new name.

The information in your credit report is matched not only by the name on the account, but also by the other identifying information provided with it. That information includes current and previous addresses, date-of-birth, and your Social Security number.

Using multiple identifiers, rather than just one, helps Experian accurately match information to your credit history, even if there are differences in your name or other identifying elements.

It is remarkably common for people to change their name when they apply for new credit. Marriage is an obvious reason. But often people are simply inconsistent in how they complete applications. For instance, a person named Robert David Smith could apply for credit using their complete name. But, they also could apply as Robert Smith, David Smith, Robert D. Smith, R. David Smith, R.D. Smith, Robby Smith, or Bob Smith.

For that reason, Experian lists every name variation reported as belonging to you on your credit report. We also list any variations reported in your Social Security number or addresses. Doing so gives you a record of the different names with which you’ve applied for credit and any typographical errors made when entering your application information, and could alert you to fraud, although that is rare.

I strongly encourage you to be consistent in the identifying information you use when applying for credit. That will help minimize confusion and help Experian and the other national credit reporting companies accurately match information to your credit history.

Request a copy of your credit report from Experian using your full name. If we were for some reason unable to match all of your accounts to the credit report, you can request assistance by following the instructions provided with the report.

Thanks for asking.

- The "Ask Experian" team

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