Changes in credit reporting may be good news for consumers

Some recent changes in credit reporting could be good news for many Illinois residents. The changes, which were instituted by the federal Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, will make it easier for consumers to dispute mistakes on their credit report and make it harder for medical debt to lower consumers' credit scores.

Before the changes, the three major credit-reporting agencies often failed to investigate complaints that were made by consumers about mistakes and faulty information on their credit reports. A 2012 review of nearly 30,000 complaints showed that less than half of the complaints had been resolved. Negligent credit bureaus were also likely to take the lender's word over the consumer's without conducting an investigation. Now, credit agencies will be obligated to investigate each complaint individually.

Another major change will be the way that credit-reporting agencies report medical debt. In the past, late payments by insurance companies would show up as a collection report even though the payment was not the consumer's responsibility. Now, credit agencies must wait 180 days before reporting an unpaid medical debt on someone's credit report. In addition, minor debts like parking tickets and library fines will no longer be reportable.

A person who is unable to qualify for loans due to a low credit score might want to speak with an attorney about incorrect information that could be on their credit report. An attorney may be able to help an individual to dispute any false information with the agencies that are reporting it.

Source: The Motley Fool, " Managing Your Credit Report Just Got a Lot Easier," Selena Maranjian, March 21, 2015

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