Jean Chatzky
When it comes to the latest trends in the credit industry, Jean says she always turns to credit expert John Ulzheimer. Jean talks with John about new credit information every consumer should know.

New Credit Trends:
  • Errors on your credit report can be resolved quickly. If you're applying for a mortgage and spot something erroneous on your credit report, the Fair Credit Reporting Act assures you can expedite the process of challenging the claim, John says. "If you see something on your credit report that's incorrect, outdated, unverifiable or misleading, you have the right to challenge that information," he says.
  • There are now four credit bureaus. Equifax, TransUnion and Experian are the three big credit reporting agencies, but John says CBCInnovis, based in Columbus, Ohio, is emerging as the fourth big bureau. When investigating your own credit score, John says you should take CBCInnovis into account.
  • Hospitals are now using credit scores. While medical providers aren't supposed to be using your score to determine what kind of care you receive, they are using it to determine if you usually pay your bills on time and how their collections department will handle you as a customer, John says.
  • Debt collectors are more brazen now than in recent years. "They're busier, they are more aggressive, and here is the dilemma—they are getting more litigious," John says. In the past, if you didn't owe $4,000 or $5,000, you weren't going to get a call from a collections attorney, John says. "Today, we are seeing some $1,000 lawsuits being filed. Why? Because it is low-hanging fruit—it is very easy to collect that stuff," he says.