What is the Fair Credit Reporting Act?
"The purpose of this [act] is to require that consumer reporting agencies adopt reasonable procedures for meeting the needs of commerce for consumer credit, personnel, insurance, and other information in a manner which is fair and equitable to the consumer, with regard to the confidentiality, accuracy, relevancy, and proper utilization of such information in accordance with the requirements of this [act]."
The primary purpose of the Fair Credit Reporting Act is to ensure fairness and accuracy of credit reporting, and that the procedures followed are reasonable.
Under the Fair Credit Reporting Act:
- If denied credit, insurance or employment on the basis of your credit report, you may ask the creditor for name and address of the reporting agency, and contact then within 60 days of receiving denial notice to get a free copy of your credit report.
- A credit reporting agency cannot give out information to employers, and certain other information of a specific nature, such as reports that contain medical information, without your consent.
- You can dispute completeness and accuracy of information in your file.
- Derogatory information that is outdated cannot be reported.
- You can seek damages from a reporting agency in a case where they violate the Fair Credit Reporting Act.
- You can request for your name to be removed from the list of reporting agencies. (But keep in mind that once you are off the list, you have to be off it for two years.)
How Do I Contact A Credit Reporting Agency?
There are primarily three national credit bureaus that supply credit reports; Experian, Equifax and Trans Union. You can look up "credit" or "credit rating and reporting" in the yellow pages and make calls, your information may be with more than one agency, calling up more than one is advisable. You will to pay a reasonable fee to get your report.