Why your credit score might soon get a boost

August 8, 2014, 6:04 PM UTC
contract armin harris
Kyle Bean for Fortune

Worried about your credit score? Well, good news is on the way.

Fair Isaac, which is in charge of tabulating the popular FICO credit scores, is about to recalibrate the way it calculates credit scores. That may mean it’s easier for millions of Americans to get loans.

The company said Thursday it plans to dismiss late bill payments as a negative to consumers’ score, if those bills have been paid or settled with a collection agency. Additionally, unpaid medical bills will have less of an effect downgrading scores going forward.

The new formula is slated to take effect in the fall.

The new structure could see consumers with median scores have them bumped up as high as 25 points, if the only late payment they have relates to an unpaid medical debt, according to the company. Scores fall on a scale between 300 and 850 points.

In May, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau found that consumers’ credit scores are “overly penalized” for medical debt, in part prompting Fair Isaac’s change.

Fair Isaac (FICO) said in a release that the new modeling techniques for the FICO scores are “more predictive of a consumer’s likelihood to repay a debt than previous versions.”

Jim Wehmann, executive vice president for Fair Isaac’s scores division, said that the updated system will also help U.S. lenders “more consistently” and “precisely” assess new applicants in the future.

The last updated version of the credit score system was introduced in 2008.

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