Consumer

Credit

Reports

Online

Guide


 

 

Consumer Rights

  1. Some important facts about your rights.

  2. Errors on your credit report.

  3. Links to more information from the Federal Trade Commission (FTC).

Also see the page Five Reasons to Check your Credit Regularly for a an explanation of some of the damaging things that can happen to your credit.


Important Fact about your consumer rights.

  • If anyone takes action against you based on a report provided by a CRA, they are obligated to provide you with the name, address, and telephone number of the CRA that provided the report.

  • You have the right to know what's in your report including who has requested the report in the last year (two years in the cases of employers).

    Can I review my report for free to protect this right?  Only under certain conditions, otherwise you can order a report.

  • Outdated information may not be reported. In most cases, a CRA may not report negative information that is more than seven years old; ten years for bankruptcies.

  • Your consent is required to provide reports to employers or prospective employers and your consent is needed for any reports that contain medical information.

  • Only people with a legitimate business need may request your credit report. For example, a company is allowed to request your report if you apply for credit, insurance, employment, or  to rent an apartment.

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Errors on your credit report.

If there is an error on your credit report you should contact both the CRA and the organization that provided the erroneous information in writing.  Usually, the CRA must investigate the information within 30 days.  Equifax also has an online complaint correction policy.

Specifically:

  • Inaccurate information must be corrected or deleted. A 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 However, the CRA is not required to remove accurate data from your file unless it is outdated (as described below) or cannot be verified.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.

  • You can dispute inaccurate items with the source of the information. If 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.

  • Outdated information may not be reported. In most cases, a CRA may not report negative information that is more than seven years old; ten years for bankruptcies.

For more information about fixing errors on your credit report and improving your credit score you may want to consider the Credit Repair Kit.

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Federal Trade Commission Information.

For a more complete summary of your rights we suggest the Federal Trade Commissions  A Summary of Your Rights Under the Fair Credit Reporting Act)

You can also use the:

For more information see the Federal Trade Commission Home Page or see the The Fair Credit Reporting Act.

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The information on this page is provided for informational purposes only and is not a substitute for professional financial, credit, or legal advice.

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