Since credit is tightening up, it is very important to know what your rights are, under the Fair Credit Reporting Act!
Right now, there are so many credit reporting agencies out there, besides credit bureaus - such as specialty agencies that report insurance claims, medical records, rental records, check writing histories - just to name a few. The Federal Fair Credit Reporting Act promotes accuracy. So, what are your rights as a consumer?
A consumer has the right to be told what information on file was used against them, including the name, address, phone number of agency making the report.
A consumer has the right to know what is inside their file. Note: all consumers are entitled to a free copy of their file every 12 months (including nationwide credit bureaus & specialty credit reporting agencies).
A consumer has the right to ask for their credit score. This information is not normally issued for free, but if you are applying for a mortgage, the lender may tell you these scores for free, as part of your pre-approval package.
A consumer has the right to report inaccurate or incomplete information.
Consumer Reporting Agencies must comply to correct such inaccurate or incomplete information, if proved to be so.
Consumer Reporting Agencies should not be reporting outdated negative information. Note: Bankruptcies will probably show up to 10 years.
Access to consumer files are limited, only to be provided to those with a valid need for access. (Example: applying for a mortgage or car loan - a need to look at your credit file)
A consumer has the right to limit "prescreened" offers of credit and insurance. (You may opt-out by calling: 1-888-5OPTOUT)
A consumer must give consent before an employer can be provided access to their credit or specialty files.
A consumer has the right to collect damages from violators, being able to sue in state or federal courts.
Identity Victims have additional rights, plus active duty military personnel.
Some states have their own consumer reporting laws.
This is not my intention to offer any legal advice, only to give some facts regarding Consumer Rights in Regards to the Federal Fair Credit Reporting Act. For more detailed information, please visit: www.ftc.gov/credit
Hope you find this information useful.