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New Rules Could Boost Your Credit Score

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The major credit-reporting agencies have agreed to make policy changes that could boost your credit scores. What you can expect now…

More help with errors. Up to now, if you complained to a credit-reporting agency about an inaccurate entry on your credit report, the agency simply passed your complaint along to the creditor…then refused to adjust or remove the problematic entry if the creditor would not admit that there was a mistake. Under the new rules, if you provide documentation but a creditor does not back off its contention, the credit bureaus must assign an agent to review the documentation and could then change the entry despite the creditor’s resistance.

More time to resolve medical bills. Under the old rules, your credit report could show a collection—a debt that has been referred to a debt-collection agency—simply because a health insurance company was slow to pay a claim. Collections could lower your credit score by 100 points under certain circumstances. Under the new rules, medical collections cannot be reported to the credit bureaus any sooner than 180 days after the date that the debt ­becomes delinquent, ­giving the insurance claim and payment process time to run its course.

No more credit score penalties for unpaid tickets and fines. Currently an unpaid parking ticket or overdue library book fine can end up as a “collection account.” Under the new rules, credit reports will not be allowed to include charges if you did not enter into a contract or sign an agreement to pay them.

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Source: John Ulzheimer, president of consumer education at CreditSesame.com, which offers free credit reports and credit scores. Date: May 1, 2015 Publication: Bottom Line Personal
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