Have you ever tried to correct an error on your credit report? If so, there is good news: the credit reporting industry is about to change dramatically. Earlier this year, the three main credit reporting agencies -- Equifax, Experian and Transunion -- agreed to a multi-phase settlement with the New York Attorney General. This fall, the agencies begin phase one of being more proactive in resolving disputes and changing the way they report on unpaid medical bills. To help untangle the new reform measures, we asked nationally-recognized credit expert John Ulzheimer to come back on the show to tell us what's going on.
Formerly of FICO, Equifax and Credit.com, John is the only recognized credit expert who actually comes from the credit industry. He has served as a credit expert witness in more than 230 cases and has been qualified to testify in both Federal and State court on the topic of consumer credit.
As a reminder, the three main agencies report your information to the scoring companies. According to FICO, the company behind the most widely used credit score, the most important factors are:
- 35% Payment History
- 30% Total debt outstanding, which takes into account how many accounts you have and how close you are to your credit limit
- 15% Credit history
- 10% Credit Mix
- 10% Number of inquiries—specifically those generated when you are seeking to increase your borrowing, perhaps because you’re shopping for a mortgage, car loan, or student loan.
John also reminds us that identity theft is the NUMBER ONE white collar crime. Criminals are looking for your name, address, date of birth and social security number. With that information, they can wreak havoc on your financial life. To help defend yourself, John recommends the following steps:
- Minimize broadcasting your personal information online
- Check your credit report monthly
- Sign up for free credit monitoring
Thanks to everyone who participated this week, especially Mark, the Best Producer/Music Curator in the World. Here's how to contact us:
- Call 855-411-JILL and we'll schedule time to get you on the show LIVE
- Send an email: firstname.lastname@example.org