Wayward Son: How Your Son’s Credit Woes Can Become Yours, Especially if You’re a “Senior”

As a father, you always want what’s best for your children. Over the years, this has probably meant some sacrifices. While some sacrifice is normal, there are certain burdens you shouldn’t have to take on for your child. What’s an example of one of these? Your son’s bad credit choices and actions.

You do not have to be responsible for his financial struggles. Nor should you be. Unfortunately, if you’ve given your son your name, you might end up inadvertently shouldering this burden without even knowing it! Occasionally credit reporting companies will associate credit information with the wrong person. More often than not, this occurs with individuals who share the same (or very similar) names. When this happens, it’s considered a “mixed file.”

Is It Possible to Prevent Mixed Files with Your Son?

Fortunately, there are some steps you can take to help minimize the chances that you unknowingly share financial information with your son. Although it’s not completely possible to prevent mixed files, it’s still wise to take the following actions.

Always use the same writing of your name for all applications. Pick one way of writing your name and stick with it.
Check your credit reports from each of the three main bureaus regularly. You get one free report from each annually.
In a similar vein to using the same name, always write your address in the same way. Either abbreviate drive or write it out, but don’t do both.

What Are the Implications When Your Credit Is Mixed with Your Son’s?

When your credit file is mixed with your son’s, it can impact your financial health in severe ways. You may find yourself denied credit or employment as a result of his past actions. Additionally, creditors might attempt to seek repayment from you for his debts by harassing you with calls and other forms of contact.

What Can You Do About Mixed Files?

If you’re a victim of mixed files, you should immediately contact the reporting credit agency and file a dispute of the claims. You should also consider finding an attorney who can assist you in navigating the challenges that may arise.