While it may sound a little alarming, some Arizona residents may soon find an unpaid parking ticket or overdue library book ruining their credit scores. Most of us are used to the idea that on overdue credit card bill or neglected student loan can ding our credit scores, but a growing number of agencies across the US – like libraries and police departments – are turning unpaid fines over to collection agencies, which in turn report the debt to the credit bureaus.
Consumer advocates are concerned about this new use of reporting non-credit collections accounts to credit bureaus, because a credit score is supposed to indicate how well a person manages his or her credit – not how quickly he or she returns the latest Grisham novel.
Lenders should be concerned too, as they might find themselves turning away credit-worthy borrowers over unpaid parking tickets or disputed health club membership fees. Those who are already on thin ice with their credit score have the most to lose; one more black mark might mean the difference between getting credit, a job or an apartment.
It will ultimately be up to lenders and credit reporting agencies to determine if these types of collections accounts should be classified differently than credit accounts. In the meantime, make a mental note to pay those pesky fines on time.
At The Pew Law Center, PLLC, we believe that your life shouldn’t be defined by debt. We have helped hundreds of people just like you find the relief they deserve from harassing bill collectors, paycheck garnishment, foreclosures proceedings, and – most importantly – the constant worry about money and what to do about your debts.
We are a dedicated debt relief law firm. We help people from Phoenix, Mesa, Gilbert, Queen Creek, Chandler, Scottsdale, Apache Junction, Tempe and throughout Arizona file for bankruptcy or work through tough tax problems every day. We can help stop the debt cycle and give you relief from your overwhelming, burdensome, and crushing debt. Please don’t wait another moment. Call us right away – our attorneys will help get you the fresh start you deserve.