Credit Report Reboot: 4 Changes You Need to Know About

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Are cleaner credit reports coming soon?

In March, we reported that the three big credit reporting bureaus had reached an agreement with New York State to improve the way they handle errors.

Now, 30 additional states just announced that they’ve also jumped on board, reaching a $6 million settlement with Equifax, Experian and TransUnion.

Currently, one in four consumers have incorrect information on their credit reports, according to the FTC. And in the past, many consumers complained that disputing these errors was a tedious process full of red tape.

Now, not only must the bureaus provide a more seamless service for correcting these errors, they will also change the way they report certain kinds of damaging information.

These improvements include:

    • Limited Records Data furnishers (like creditors and debt collectors) can no longer add negative marks related to fines or tickets to credit reports.
    • More Time for Medical Debt The bureaus will now have to wait 180 days from the time health-related debt is incurred before adding the account to a credit report—allowing people more time to address the bill with their insurance company or health care provider first.
    • Enhanced Monitoring The bureaus must closely track data furnishers that are found to frequently supply disputed information.
    • Increased Sharing When a credit bureau finds a mixed file, it must also notify the other bureaus about the error.

What the new rules won’t do? Help those who aren’t regularly reviewing their record. Find out how to sleuth for errors on your credit report—in 10 minutes or less.