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Changes in credit reporting may benefit consumers

Arkansas residents who are hoping to improve their credit scores may benefit from some recent changes in credit reporting. The three leading credit-reporting agencies, Equifax, TransUnion and Experian, have reached an agreement with the federal Consumer Financial Protection Bureau to institute some changes that could potentially raise the credit scores of many consumers.

One of the changes in credit reporting will be the way that credit bureaus handle consumer complaints. Rather than automatically siding with lenders when there is a disputed report, the credit bureaus will be obligated to investigate each complaint that is made by a consumer. Now, consumers who are facing creditor harassment for debts that they did not incur may have a better chance of having those debts erased from their credit report.

Another change in credit reporting that is likely to be welcomed by consumers is the elimination of negative marks for minor debts like unpaid parking tickets and late movie rental returns. It will now be much more difficult for credit reporting agencies to report debts that consumers did not agree to pay back. However, unpaid fines that make it to a collection agency may still be included in a credit report.

There are times when debts can become so overwhelming for consumers that they need help with debt management. A lawyer may be able to help someone in this situation stop creditor harassment, clean up their credit report and manage the debts that they have left. In some cases, the lawyer might suggest bankruptcy as an option for debt relief.

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

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