Bill of Rights
Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) is a federal law that regulates how consumer
reporting agencies use your information. Enacted in 1970 and substantially
amended in the late 1990s and again in 2003, the FCRA, among other things,
restricts who has access to your sensitive credit information and how that
information can be used. The FCRA is
enforced by the Federal Trade Commission (FTC)
Under the FCRA:
must be notified if information in your file has been used against you.
who uses information from a CRA to take action against you – such as denying
an application for credit, insurance, or employment – must inform you, and
give you the name, address, and phone number of the CRA that provided the
have the right to see and know what is in your file.
your request, a CRA must give you the information in your file, and a list of
everyone who has requested it recently. There is no charge if an adverse action
has been taken action against you because of information supplied by the CRA, if
you request the report with 60 days of receiving notice of the action. You are
now also entitled to one free report every twelve months upon request and can
request this by going to www.annualcreditreport.com
have the right to dispute inaccurate information.
you tell a CRA that your file contains inaccurate information the CRA must
investigate the items (usually within 30 days) by presenting to its information
source all relevant evidence you submit, unless your dispute is frivolous. The
source must review your evidence and report it’s findings to the CRA. (The
source also must also advise national CRA’s – to which it has provided the
data – of any error). The CRA must give you a written report of the
investigation, and a copy of your report if the investigation results in any
change. If the CRA’s investigation does not resolve the dispute, you may add a
brief statement to your file. The CRA must normally included a summary of your
statement in future reports. If an item is deleted or a dispute statement is
filed, you may ask that anyone who has recently received your report be notified
of the change.
information must be deleted or corrected.
CRA must remove or correct inaccurate or unverified information from its files,
usually within 30 days after you dispute it. However,
the CRA is not required to remove accurate data from your file unless it is
outdated (as described below) or cannot be verified. If your dispute
results in any change to your report, the CRA cannot reinsert into your file a
disputed item unless the information source verifies its accuracy and
completeness. In addition, the CRA must give you a written notice telling you it
has reinserted the item. The notice must include the name, address and phone
number of the information source.
can dispute inaccurate items with the source of information.
you tell anyone –such as a creditor who reports to a CRA – that you dispute
an item, they may not then report the information to a CRA without including a
notice of your dispute. In addition, once you’ve notified the source of the
error in writing, it may not continue to report the information if it is, in
fact, an error.
information may not be reported.
most cases, a CRA may not report adverse or derogatory information that is more
than seven years old. Bankruptcies
are reportable for ten years.
to your file is restricted.
CRA may provide information about you only to people who have a permissible
purpose such as an application with a creditor, insurer, employer, landlord, or
consent is required for reports that are provided to employers, or reports that
contain medical information.
CRA may not give our information about you to your employer, or prospective
employer, without your written consent. A CRA may not report medical information
about you to creditors, insurers, or employers without your permission. You
may choose to exclude your name from CRA lists for unsolicited credit and
insurance offers. Creditors and insurers may use file information as the
basis for sending you unsolicited offers of credit or insurance. Such offers
much include a toll-free phone number for you to all if you want your name and
address removed from future lists. If you call, you must be kept off the lists
for two years. If you request, complete, and return the CRA form provided for
this purpose, you must be taken off the lists indefinitely.
may initiate legal action from violators.
a CRA, a user or (in some cases) a provider of CRA data, violates the FCRA, you
may sue them in state or federal court.