The three major credit reporting agencies will update how FICO® scores are calculated—and exclude incomplete tax liens and civil judgments.
Experian, Equifax, and TransUnion will introduce new changes to FICO® score calculations in July 2017. To help improve the accuracy of credit report data, the three agencies will no longer include tax liens and civil judgments with incomplete information. A FICO score is the number that lenders use to assess your credit risk, which reflects how likely you are to pay your credit obligations.
What is changing with tax liens and civil judgments?
Tax liens and civil judgments will be erased from credit records if they don’t include all three of the following: (1) a name (2) an address (3) either a birth date or a social security number. Many tax liens and civil judgments don’t contain all three pieces of required data, so this will change how FICO scores are compiled by the three agencies and possibly improve FICO scores.
How is your FICO score calculated? Learn more at myFICO.com.
Why is this changing?
The three credit agencies are updating the way tax liens and civil judgments are included in FICO scores to reduce unfair errors on credit reports and to ensure all included information is accurate. According to Fortune, “In 2011, 8 million complaints about wrong information in credit reports were received by the three major credit reporting firms.”
The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) suggested in a recent report the agencies should improve their accuracy of their reports and update records more often – every 90 days. The CFPB continued by stating the three agencies did not have sufficient quality control systems and did not conduct reasonable investigations when consumers disputed something in their files.
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Your FICO score is included on your monthly statements and is updated quarterly. The range for a FICO score is 300 to 850. Find answers to common FICO questions in our Help Center.
Who will this impact and how much will scores improve?
This update to FICO score reporting will impact around 11 to 12 million people, a small percentage of the over 220 million U.S. adults the three agencies maintain credit reports on. Removing negative information from credit reports will cause only a slight increase in FICO scores however, with an average of 20 to 40 point increases predicted by The Wall Street Journal.
How do you get a free credit report? You can receive one credit report from each of the three major credit reporting agencies for free once every 12 months by visiting annualcreditreport.com.
This information is presented for educational purposes only. It is not intended as, nor should it be construed to be, legal, financial or other professional advice. Please consult with your attorney or financial advisor to discuss any legal or financial issues involved with credit decisions.