Fair Credit Reporting Act

  • August 30, 2016
  • By: Greenpath Financial Wellness

The Fair Credit Reporting Act governs the files of consumer reporting agencies. Here are the basics of your major rights under the FCRA:

You Must be Told if Anything in Your File Has Been Used Against You

Anyone who uses a credit report to deny your application must tell you the agency that gave the information.

You Have the Right to Know What is in Your File

You are allowed to see your information if:

  • Someone denies you credit because of your report.
  • You have been the victim of identity theft.
  • Fraudulent activity led to inaccurate information in your file.
  • Your family receives public assistance.
  • Currently unemployed but planning to apply for work within 60 days.

You Have the Right to See Your Credit Score

Credit scores measure your likelihood to pay back debt. You can see your credit score, but you may have to pay an agency for it. You are entitled to receive one free credit report per year from each reporting agency.

Review Your Credit Report with one of our financial experts.

Dispute Bad Information

Incorrect information may appear in your file. It is your right to report this to the agency and they must investigate it.

Agencies Must Correct Wrong Information

If you can show that information is false, the agencies must remove it or correct it.

Info Must be Current

In most cases, an agency may not report negative information that is more than seven years old. Going bankrupt will stay on your report for 10 years.

Limited Access

An agency may only give your report to people with a valid need.  This is often a business to which you have filled out an application.

Consent needed

An agency may not give your report to an employer without your written consent.

Limiting Credit Offers

Prescreened offers for credit must have a toll-free number you can call to stop unwanted calls. You may opt out with the nationwide credit bureaus by calling 1-888-5-OPTOUT.