The attorneys general from 31 U.S. states have reached agreements with three of the nation’s largest credit reporting agencies to issue more consumer-friendly rule changes. The new rules and guidelines involve protection benefits for consumers, medical debt changes, and adjusting the way errors are fixed on an individual’s credit report.
Moving Toward a Better Experience
The agreement to provide more help for consumers is all about creating a better experience. ConsumerAffairs reports that Equifax, TransUnion, and Experian will pay $6 million to the 31 states in addition to the changes, and have three years to implement everything agreed upon in the settlement.
What Credit Reporting Agencies are Changing
As mentioned above, there are three main components of the settlement, which will provide the most notable changes to consumers—resolving credit errors, adjusting medical debt policies, and improving identity theft services.
Credit reports have become almost crucial to life in the modern world. Good credit is required for everything from getting a job to buying a house. This is why keeping credit reports accurate is extremely important. However, like most things, credit reports aren’t immune to errors.
When a consumer notices an error or mistake on their report, the issue can be solved. But it requires a lengthy process, one that is entirely unnecessary and time-consuming for all involved parties. Moving forward, the error resolution process will be more streamlined, and will also give consumers greater control when accessing and trying to fix their credit report.
The three credit reporting agencies will also adjust their policies on medical debt. In the future, bills and expenses from medical procedures won’t appear on credit reports for 180 days. This gives consumers time to submit claims to their insurance companies and figure out what they owe exactly before it hits their credit.
Perhaps the most noticeable and beneficial change works to counteract identity theft. When someone’s identity is stolen, it puts their finances at immense risk. If unauthorized purchases are made using a consumer’s credit card, it can wreak havoc on their credit report. Recovering from this can cost both time and money.
Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion will start implementing changes in the way they store consumer data, helping to stop identity theft before it happens. This will also help to fight against credit card fraud, which has been a big problem for consumers, merchants, and banks recently.
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