FICO, the company responsible for the most widely used credit score in the U.S. announced this month that its newest scoring model will differ drastically from past versions. Known as FICO 9, the new model will take effect in fall 2014. FICO 9 will differ from FICO 8 in two major ways:
1.) It will differential between medical and non-medical bills that have been turned over to collections. Medical bills will no longer carry as much weight in consumers’ credit scores. Currently, FICO 8 makes no distinction between unpaid medical and non-medical bills.
2.) It will disregard accounts in collections that consumers have already paid. Currently, FICO 8 makes no distinction between paid and unpaid accounts in collections.
Treating medical debt differently comes as a welcome change to consumers. In a May 2014 report, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) said millions of Americans’ credit scores are being “overly penalized” by medical debts in collections.
So how do you know if your credit score will improve because of the new model? Basically, if your credit score is low as a result of unpaid medical bills or bills that went into collections that you later paid, you are likely to get a significant boost from FICO 9 when it takes effect.
Remember, you have the power to boost your credit score by following these “money smart” moves:
• Pay your bills on time.
• Keep your balance on credit cards below 30% of your total credit limit at ALL times.
• Using credit as early in your adult life as possible.
• Keeping a good mix of credit accounts on your credit report.
• Applying only for credit that you actually need.
If you are in a financial crisis and considering filing for bankruptcy, contact an experienced Miami bankruptcy attorney who can advise you of all of your options. As an experienced CPA as well as a proven bankruptcy lawyer, Timothy Kingcade knows how to help clients take full advantage of the bankruptcy laws to protect their assets and get successful results. Since 1996 Kingcade & Garcia, P.A. has been helping people from all walks of life build a better tomorrow. Our attorneys’ help thousands of people every year take advantage of their rights under bankruptcy protection to restart, rebuild and recover. The day you hire our firm, we will contact your creditors to stop the harassment. You can also find useful consumer information on the Kingcade & Garcia website at www.miamibankruptcy.com.