Consumers Corner # 13
Your credit score
may improve July 1
By Jim Murphy
About 12 million people in the U.S. are expected to see increases in their credit scores as of July 1.
The reason? Unless tax liens and civil debts include your name, address, Social Security number and/or dates of birth, they no longer will appear on your credit report.
As a result, your FICO score may increase ten or 20 points. FICO, the credit score created by Fair Isaac Corporation, is used by 90% of top lenders.
Too many mistakes went uncorrected
The change comes after years of complaints by consumer groups about inaccurate credit reporting information, and slow or no response by Experian, Equifax and TransUnion – the three major reporting agencies – to correct mistakes.
As of February 2017, says Richard Cordray, director of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB), his organization had handled 185,7600 credit reporting complaints
1 in 5 reports errors
The problem is not new. As far back as 2012, the Federal Trade Commission said one in five consumers reported errors on their credit reports.
When the CFPB began looking into the consumer reporting companies data accuracy, Cordray says, “we were surprised to find that their quality control systems were either rudimentary or virtually non-existent” and the processes for consumers to dispute the information “completely broken.”
The CFPB also is cleaning up information the consumer reporting agencies receive from their suppliers. “We are all familiar with the data problem of ‘garbage in, garbage out,’ ” he says.
THE BIG SQUEEZE
American Airlines adds seats,
cuts legroom in economy class
CNN Money says American Airlines is decreasing the front-to-back space between some of its economy class seats by another two inches on its Boeing 737 Max jetliners.
“The move signals a new step in the shrinking of U.S. airline cabins, and comes even as carriers are promising to improve overall customer service,” says CNN.
American is cutting what is called the legroom pitch from 31 to 29 inches on three rows, and to 30 inches in the rest of the economy cabin.
This puts it close to the uncomfortable squeeze zone of low-cost, few-frills’ carriers like Spirit Airlines and Frontier Airlines.
Personally, I’m waiting for Alaska Airlines’ entry into Philadelphia’s cross-country market in August 2017.
My hope is it will bring price competition to American and United for West Coast flights. Alaska, which recently acquired Virgin America (which I loved to fly}, was ranked No. 1 for 2016 by the Wall Street Journal for the fourth year in a row.
Alaska also was rated one of the 10 best airlines in the world by TripAdvisor.
PHILLY FUN FACT:
William Penn mostly governed his province of Pennsylvania from afar. He spent most of his time in England. and actually lived in Philadelphia less than four years.
“Credit Score – Notepad” flickr photo by cafecredit https://flickr.com/photos/cafecredit/26955503583 shared under a Creative Commons (BY) license
Jim Murphy is a direct marketing copywriter who has run his own consulting business since 2004. For nine years, he wrote and edited “Choices,” an award-winning credit union magazine with a circulation of 80,000. He also is a certified member of the Association of Philadelphia Tour Guides.
Any comments made are Jim’s opinion, and not necessarily those of the Old Pine Community Center.