Major credit agencies agree to changes

Staff Writer
Columbus CEO

NEW YORK (AP) — The three largest credit-reporting agencies will change the way they handle records in a major revamp long sought by consumer advocates.

Medical debts won't be reported until after a 180-day waiting period to allow time for insurance payments to be applied. People who contest items in their credit reports will receive additional information concerning their dispute, including instructions on what they can do if they don't like the answer they get.

Equifax, Experian and TransUnion are also honing their focus on an enhanced dispute resolution process to help victims of identity theft and fraud.

The three credit reporting agencies will get rid of the reporting of debts that didn't arise from a contract or agreement by the consumer to pay, such as tickets or fines.

The National Consumer Assistance Plan is intended to provide people with more transparency and more simple navigation when dealing with the bureaus that hold their credit reports.

The changes were announced Monday after talks between Equifax, Experian, TransUnion and New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman.

The changes will begin to be implemented over the next several months. Discussions with other attorneys general are ongoing and there remains the possibility for more agreements in coming months.