New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman and representatives from major credit reporting agencies Equifax, TransUnion, and Experian have concluded recent negotiations with some positive changes happening in the near future for American consumers. These major changes might make it easier for consumers to avoid common credit pitfalls.

What Changes are Being Made?

There are changes that are being made to the credit reporting process that include what type of debt is reported. For instance, credit reporting agencies are now including information only about debts consumers agree to pay. This means utility bills and parking tickets may not be eligible to appear on reports. However, some agencies may still persist in reporting these items to agencies.

Medical debt is another bone of contention that has been revamped. In order to increase the accuracy of consumer credit reports, medical debts will no longer be reported prior to an 180-day waiting period. This time will allow for insurance payments to be applied to the debt. Credit reporting agencies are required to remove previously reported medical debts that have been paid or are in the process of being paid by insurance providers.

Disputes are another area of major change within credit reporting agencies. Agencies are now required to hire employees to investigate disputes instead of rubber-stamping whatever credit reporting agencies report. If you want to fix mistakes on your credit report, you can either contact the credit bureaus to file disputes or you can hire a credit repair company to file disputes.

Who is Monitoring These Changes?

According to the agreement set forth between the agencies and Schneiderman, a working group is to be formed to conduct regular reviews these changes. The group will also be in charge of ensuring that these data collection procedures are applied to consumers in a uniform manner.

When Are These Changes Slated to Take Place?

Changes are scheduled to be implemented immediately. Discussions between credit reporting agencies and other state attorney generals continue to take place and there is a possibility of more agreements and policy changes coming in the near future.

You might see significant levels of improvement in your credit scores as these changes are implemented. However, as a consumer, your best advocate is you, so it is up to you to ensure that your credit is accurately reported by credit reporting agencies. It would be wise to look over your credit report and address any discrepancies with the appropriate reporting agencies. You’re entitled to a free credit report each year and an additional report if you make a dispute to ensure any errors are amended.