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Changes to Credit Reports Coming Soon: Experian, Equifax, Transunion

New Contributor

Changes to Credit Reports Coming Soon: Experian, Equifax, Transunion

FYI, I received this in an email this morning from Experian...


As of July 2017, Experian, Equifax and Transunion are making updates when it comes to how items such as civil judgments and tax liens will appear on your credit report. Most Americans won’t see any changes to their credit score, but it’s good to be up to speed on what’s being reported now. We lay out what you should know about the items and what exactly is changing:


What part of my credit report could be impacted?

Tax liens and civil judgments are two types of public records that appear on your credit report if they’ve been reported to a credit bureau. A complete tax lien or civil judgment that is reported includes the following pieces of information: a name, an address, and either a birth date or Social Security number.


What is changing?

These items will still be reported to the three major credit reporting agencies (Experian, Equifax and Transunion). However, now there are additional criteria for them to appear on your credit report. Since many entries lack these data points, the credit reporting agencies are no longer going to present an entry if it doesn’t include at least three of those four criteria. Liens and judgments are negative events that can hit your credit report—and their removal may cause a slight increase in your credit score once they fall off your credit report after seven to ten years.


Will my credit score change?

The majority of people won’t be impacted. Estimates by FICO and most analysts indicate that 6-7% of people with credit scores may see these items come off their credit report with this change implemented, so those 12-15 million people may see a slightly increased credit score (likely 20 points or less). Your credit scores are calculated based on information on your credit report that’s reported to credit agencies by various sources such as lenders, creditors, and financial institutions. So negative information on your credit report can impact your credit scores. The impact depends on a lot of factors such as recency and what the item is exactly, so no two credit scores are impacted the same by an item like a tax lien.


Where do you see your public record(s)?

When you check your credit report, public records show in a section that usually appears after your personal information. They are in a separate section from accounts and credit inquiries. Tax liens (either state or federal), civil judgments, and bankruptcies are the public records you could see on your credit report.


Staying informed

As always, it’s a good idea to regularly check your credit report and keep an eye out for anything that may negatively impact your credit score, since any negative items on your credit report can cause your credit scores to drop. You also want to be on the lookout for anything that doesn’t look right as it could be something to look into further—like a potential sign of identity theft or something you need to dispute.


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Message 1 of 3
Valued Member

Re: Changes to Credit Reports Coming Soon: Experian, Equifax, Transunion

Is the public record required to have a full 9-digit Social Security Number or just last 4 digits?


Asking because I have a PR with no date of birth and only last 4 digits of SSN. Verified this by going thru the actual court documents.


Message 2 of 3
Frequent Contributor

Re: Changes to Credit Reports Coming Soon: Experian, Equifax, Transunion

Thank you for posting this. 


I was checking my reports yesterday, as I do it on a weekly/monthly basis because I am in the rebuild stage of my discharged CH13 BK.  Well lo and behold, Equifax added a 2009 PAID tax lien back to my credit report and my score has plummeted 30 freaking points.  For a rebuilder, this is absolute devastating. 


Based on what you posted, most people are seeing these types of liens falling off, whereas it has been added to my report.  I am crushed.  I've been working tirelessly since my discharge in August 2016 to rebuild my credit - making sure I do everything right.  And in a matter of minutes, Equifax hits a button and destroys it all.


I disputed it this morning and included documentation that shows the lien was PAID IN FULL and has been resolved.  The only thing I can do now is wait and see what comes of my dispute.  I successfully had this lien removed from all 3 of my reports almost two years ago, so I just pray and hope Experian and Transunion doesn't follow suit and start reporting it.  I am so grateful and thankful that I have only one more year (or less if EE is successful) and I can put this CH13 and any other negatives behind me.  It has truly been an emotional rollercoaster.


ETA: The Equifax reporting of the tax lien does not include the following: an address, and either a birth date or Social Security number.  So hopefully this will aid in them removing the inforation from my report.

FICO Score 8 as of 07/23/18
EQ - 770
EX - 757
TU - 741
Goal: 800
Message 3 of 3
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