A split credit file occurs when one of your credit reports becomes fractured into two separate reports. The new reports will both only contain a portion of your credit history and will both reflect a new credit score. Split credit files are dangerous because any lender who pulls your credit will only see a portion of your credit history and an inaccurate score. This can result in you being turned down for credit, loans, housing, and even employment.

Too Much Information

Each credit bureau maintains your credit information in its computer system. If there is a copious amount of credit information on you, it is possible for the computer system to split your file in order to make it easier to manage. To prevent a split credit file due to a data overload, check your credit report for obsolete or inaccurate information. If there are twenty addresses on your credit report, yet you have only actually lived at ten of them, you can request that the inaccurate information be removed. The same is true of accounts that appear on your credit report for longer than is permitted by the federal reporting period. A credit report that is clean and concise is less likely to be split by the credit bureaus.

Reporting Errors

The information reflected on your credit report is provided by your creditors. Should a creditor report erroneous information on you, such as an incorrect name or birth date, there is a possibility that your credit report will split.

In most cases, inaccurate personal information is added to an already existing credit report. This leaves many individuals with credit files that reflect more than one name, Social Security number, or birth date. Occasionally, however, the information reported is so incorrect that the credit bureaus are unable to match it to your existing credit file. This results in a new credit file being created in your name. Should this occur, your original credit report will remain intact, but a portion of your credit history will exist within a separate report. The result is a split credit file.


Yet another cause of a split credit file is known as ”bumpage”. Bumpage is the common consumer practice of repeatedly conducting soft credit pulls with the intention of overloading the credit system with inquiries. When this occurs, old information will sometimes be ”bumped off” the credit report.

Bumpage is a risky practice. Although most people who attempt it do so to get rid of hard inquiries on their credit reports, trade lines can be bumped off as well.…  Bumping a positive trade line off your credit report can significantly lower your credit score.

If you continually check your credit report in an attempt to bump old information out of the system, you run the risk of causing your credit file to split. Even though soft inquiries are not visible by any lenders or creditors who pull your report, the credit bureaus keep track of them within your credit file. If you already have an extensive credit history, continual soft pulls can provide the additional information necessary to overload the credit bureaus’ computer systems and cause your credit report to fracture.

Fixing a Split Credit File

If you have reason to suspect that one of your credit files has been split and is not reflecting accurate information, you can contact the credit bureau that maintains that particular file and report the problem.

Before you report a split credit file, make sure that your file is actually fractured by pulling and reviewing all three of your credit reports. Over time, information that appears on your credit report will be removed by the credit bureaus for being obsolete. If numerous accounts are removed within a short time frame, it may appear that your credit file has been split when it is actually accurate.

Contact the credit bureau that maintains the credit report that has been split to notify it of the situation. You may also wish to provide the credit bureau with copies of your other two credit reports to prove that a significant amount of information is missing from your credit history. The credit bureau will conduct an investigation and, if it finds that your credit report has been split, will merge your reports.

A split credit report may be a nuisance, but you can mitigate the damage it causes until you can get it fixed. Notify lenders that you may have a split credit file, and ask them to pull all three of your credit reports rather than just one. Most lenders have encountered the situation before and will be willing to comply. You should also regularly monitor your credit reports for inaccurate or obsolete information that may place you in danger of a split file.