There are many credit reporting agencies including the three major ones i.e Experian, Equifax and TransUnion. All the agencies are governed by the laws of the Fair Credit Reporting Act. The consumers are given rights under the law, which they can use and which bind the credit agencies to act on them. Summarized below are a few rights of the consumers under the Fair Credit Reporting Act.
- If any information from your file has been used against you, you have to be informed. If you have been denied loan, credit card or employment, because of some negative entry in your credit report, you have the right to ask for the name and contact details of the information providing agency and can seek a copy of the credit report.
- You are entitled for a free copy of your annual credit report once in a year. But under special circumstances, you can get it free more than once in a year, if:
- You have been denied credit or employment;
- You are unemployed but propose to seek a job within the next 60 days;
- You are on welfare;
- You are a victim of identity theft and have reported it; and
- There are errors in your file because of fraud.
- When you check your credit report, you may find inaccuracies in it. You can initiate a dispute by writing to the agencies Credit agencies will then have to investigate it within 30 days and correct it, if any errors are found.
- The Fair Credit Reporting Act has placed restrictions upon who can access your report. It can be accessed only by a creditor, insurance agent, prospective employer and other people who have a valid need for it but only with your written permission.
- If, on reviewing your credit report, you find that some unauthorized person has been given access to your report, you may sue the Credit bureau for violations.
Most people are unaware of the rights, which have been provided to them under the Fair Credit Reporting Act. This act serves to protect the consumers. If you wish not to be disturbed by companies offering credit cards or insurance at low rates, you may call their toll-free number and protect your privacy from being invaded. It may be mentioned here that while your credit report does not contain your credit score, you can place an order for it by paying a nominal fees.