All Is Fair In Love, War, And, Your Credit Report. At Least It Should Be. Under Standing The Fair Credit Reporting Act
Fact: Over 150 million Americans have credit report with the three major credit reporting agencies. Approximately 50 million of these credit reports contain errors, many of which are inaccurate. Do you know what?s on your credit report?
If you?ve ever applied for a charge account, a personal loan, insurance or a job, there?s a credit report about you. This credit report contains information on where you work and live, how you pay your bills, and whether you?ve been sued, or filed for bankruptcy.
About The Fair Credit Reporting Act? (FCRA)
The Fair Credit Reporting Act was the first federal law to regulate the use of personal information by private business. It was all the way back in 1899 that the first major credit reporting agency was started. Over time, credit reporting grew into a huge industry and, by the late 1960?s, became surrounded by controversy.
Credit reports from the Credit Reporting Agencies were being used to deny services and opportunities. At that time, you would have had no right to see what was in your credit report. The FCRA was passed in 1970 and fortunately now you have that right.
On December 4, 2000 President George Bush signed into law the first phase of the Fair And Accurate Credit Transactions Act (FACT Act), which amends the FCRA. The FACT Act establishes the Financial Literacy and Education Commission and calls for a national financial literacy campaign.
The act addresses consumer?s rights to understand and protect the information in their credit report and to get help when their financial information has been stolen. It also restricts the use of medical information in determining a consumer?s eligibility for credit, and also limits the sharing of medical information with affiliated companies under certain circumstances.
Here are some questions consumers commonly ask about credit reports, Consumer Reporting Agencies and the answers. Note that you may have additional rights under state laws. You can contact your state Attorney General or local consumer protection agency for more information. You also have information and resources at your disposal 24/7 at: www.creditandyou.com.
Q. What can I do about inaccurate or incomplete information?
A. Under the new law, both the Consumer Reporting Agencies and the information provider have responsibilities for correcting inaccurate or incomplete information in your credit report. To protect all your rights under this law, contact both the Consumer Reporting Agencies and the information provider. See credit repair article by credit and you.com
Q. Can my employer get my credit report?
A. Only if you say it?s okay. A consumer reporting agencies may not supply information about you to your employer, or to a prospective employer without your consent.
Q. Can creditors, employers or insurers get a report that contains medical information about me?
A. Not without your approval.
Q. How can I stop a consumer reporting agencies from including me on lists for unsolicited credit and insurance offers?
A. Creditors and Insurers may use consumer reporting agencies file information as a basis for sending you unsolicited offers. These offers must include a toll free number for you to call if you want to remove your name and address from lists for two years, completing a form that the consumer reporting agencies provides for this purpose will keep your name off lists permanently.
Q. Do I have the right to sue for damages?
A. You may sue a consumer reporting agency, a user or in some cases a provider of consumer reporting agency data in state or federal court for most violations of the FCRA. If you win, the defendant will have to pay damages to reimburse you for attorney fees to the extent ordered by the court.
Q. Are there other laws I should know about?
A. Yes. If your credit application was denied, the Equal Credit Opportunity Act (ECOA) requires creditors to specify why if you ask. For example, the creditor must tell you whether you were denied because you have no credit report with a consumer reporting agency or because the consumer reporting agency says you have delinquent obligations. The ECOA also requires creditors to consider additional information you might supply about your credit history. You may want to find out why the creditor denied your application before you contact the consumer reporting agencies. See Equal Credit Opportunity Act article by credit and you.com
Stay On Top Of Your Credit ?
Before financing anything, car, furniture, or a home, it?s a god idea to make sure your credit report is clean. Errors can often be quickly removed. And no sales person should ever know more about your credit report than you.
About the Author: To find out: additional rights you have, who can get a copy of your credit report, how long negative information can be reported, easy steps anyone can take to repair there credit report, what you can do if the credit reporting agencies won?t correct information in your credit report, or to read more about the Equal Credit Opportunity Act visit: http://www.creditandyou.com/creditreports.html it?s a free information website!