The Fair Credit Reporting Act:
Credit reports have become increasingly important in our lives. Lenders, employers, landlords, and insurance companies use them to make business decisions that directly affect you and your goals. It is vital, therefore, that the information on your credit report be accurate and secured against fraud. The federal Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) exists to ensure that the financial data contained in your credit report is not only correct, but private.
Though the FCRA is a powerful law in itself, to protect consumers even further against identity theft and discriminatory lending, an amendment was passed in 2003 – the Fair and Accurate Credit Transactions Act (the FACT Act).
The right to access your information
You may receive a free copy of your credit report from each of the three consumer credit reporting bureaus (Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion) once a year (or anytime you suspect identity theft has occurred) from Annual Credit Report Request Service. You may also receive a free report directly from the credit bureaus every twelve months if you if you are unemployed, are on public assistance, or if your report is inaccurate due to fraud. If you need it at any other time you may access it from the bureaus for a fee.
The right to accuracy
If the item is found to be correct, it stays. If the information source cannot prove the item is correct, it is removed. In either case you will receive a report of the investigation and, if it resulted in a change, a new copy of your credit report. You may also request that anyone who has recently received your report be notified of the update.
The right to explain yourself
The right to have negative information “age-off”
The right to privacy
Many people receive unsolicited mail for credit, loans, and insurance. These offers are generated from lists that businesses buy from credit bureaus. If you would like to be removed from these lists (for two years or even permanently) call the toll-free number: 1-888-5-OPTOUT (1-888-567-8688).
The right to seek damages
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