Consumer Alert: Fixing credit report mistakes - Cleveland 19 News Cleveland, OH

Consumer Alert: Fixing credit report mistakes

If your credit score is bad, it may not completely be your fault. (Source: WOIO) If your credit score is bad, it may not completely be your fault. (Source: WOIO)
(WOIO) - Do you have a lousy credit score? It may not be your fault. The three big credit reporting agencies are accused of knowingly including mistakes in consumers' credit files. It's why Attorney General Mike DeWine is leading an investigation, which could help you get out of the credit score doghouse.

Tanya and James Noreds' lives have been turned upside down. For the past several years, James has been in and out of the hospital battling a rare autoimmune disorder. Through the horrifying process, they've racked up around $200,000 in medical bills.

"Credit-wise, we're ruined. We had to file bankruptcy," said Tanya.

They were relieved to hear that the big three credit bureaus have now agreed to a six-month grace period before reporting late medical bills, allowing time for insurance payments to be applied.

"I think it could help a lot of families," said Tanya.

"Maybe it can help somebody else not have their credit ruined," said James.

"People have that comfort of knowing that they have six months to take care of this and rely on my insurance company to get it taken care of," said Wendy Anderson, of MAX Credit Union.

The new guidelines are designed to make it easier to dispute an error. One in five Americans has a mistake on a credit report from either Equifax, Experian or TransUnion. Most often, it's the result of bad information, credit theft or fraud. The agencies have to use trained employees to respond when a consumer notes a mistake. Those employees will then be responsible for resolving the issue.

"These new rules will allow you to more proactively manage your credit," says financial advisor Jean Chatzky.

"From a lender standpoint, it's a huge benefit to us, because we see them on a daily basis and now we're going to have a more true picture of our customer's credit. It's a win-win situation," says Anderson.

More than 30 states are involved in this investigation and the Mississippi Attorney General has filed a lawsuit against Experian. Click here for more information on the changes.
 
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