Credit reports are a huge headache for many Americans.
Does this sound like you? You’ve realized that you need to stick to a budget and get rid of debt, but now you’re being hounded by creditors. Your credit score is shot to bits, making future purchases difficult.
To top it off, you just might be one of the 1 in 5 Americans whose credit report contains an error.
The Good News
The good news is that the three big credit reporting companies: Equinox, Transperian, and TransUnion, have agreed to change their disputing process to better serve consumers.
This is great news for families! Here are the details:
- When does this overhaul go into affect? Changes will phase in over the next 6 months – 3 years.
- How do the changes affect me? Disputes on credit reports will be handled in-house rather than the credit agencies asking for validation from the lender. Currently, if a part of a report is disputed, the credit reporting agency sends the information to the lender for confirmation.
- Medical bills now have a 6 month grace-period before being added to a credit report. This is to allow time for payment from both the patient and insurance companies.
A Surprising Statistic
I don’t have creditors hounding me, so why should I care? I According to an FTC study done in 2013, 1 in 5 people have an error on one of their credit reports. Yowzahs!! You’ll have an easier time of disputing your report under the new standard if you find that you’re one of these unlucky folks .
These new changes by the 3 primary credit reporting agencies are good news for consumers who are weary of battling against false and extenuating charges.
You’ll want to consider the steps below regardless of your standing with these companies. This will ensure accurate reporting and reduce your risk of headaches from unfounded charges.
Under the Fair and Accurate Credit Transactions Act of 2003, everyone is allowed a free yearly check of their credit report. If you haven’t yet this year, go to Annualcreditreport.com to get your free credit report.
Grab a report from each of the 3 credit reporting agencies: TransUnion, Experian, and Equinox. Check this report for discrepancies and errors. If you find an error on a report, contact the credit reporting agency and file a dispute.
Add a yearly credit check to your calendar. I’d suggest doing it at the beginning or end of the year, during your yearly budget review. You do have a yearly budget review, right? 🙂
If you’re not already budgeting, you’ll want to develop a family budget. Creating a plan for your money is one of the best decisions that you’ll ever make.
Need some extra inspiration on your journey? I highly recommend snagging a copy of The Total Money Makeover. The author (Dave Ramsey) truly understands the psychology of spending and saving. He’s helped families all across the world to take control of their money and find financial peace.
What do you think of the new rules? Have you ever had an error on your credit report?