The federal Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) was created to promote accurate, fair, and private filing of information by consumer reporting agencies. There are many types of consumer reporting agencies, including credit bureaus and specialty agencies (those that sell information about check writing history, medical records, rental history, etc). Most familiar to everyone are the 3 national credit bureaus: Experian, Equifax, and TransUnion. Here is a summary of consumer’s major rights under the FCRA:
- You must be told if information in your file has been used against you.
- You have the right to know what is in your file.
- You have the right to ask for a credit score.
- You have the right to dispute incomplete or inaccurate information.
- Consumer reporting agencies must correct or delete inaccurate, incomplete, or unverifiable information.
- Consumer reporting agencies may not report outdated negative information.
- Access to your file is limited.
- You must give your consent for reports to be provided to employers.
- You may limit “pre-screened”offers of credit and insurance you get based on information in your credit report.
- You may seek damages from violators.
- Identity theft victims and active duty military personnel have additional rights.
States may enforce the FCRA (click here for listing), and many states have their own consumer reporting laws. In some cases, you may have more rights under state law.