Consumer Rights

The FCRA grants you a number of important rights, including:

The right to know what your credit records contain.

The right to be told by a credit bureau the nature, substance and sources (except investigative sources) of the information (except medical) collected about you.

The right to know the name and address of the credit bureau responsible for preparing a credit report used to deny you credit, insurance or employment, or to increase the cost of your insurance or credit.

The right to a free copy of your credit report if you are denied credit and the denial is due at least in part to credit record information. (Requests for a free copy must be made within 30 days of your receipt of the notification of denial.)

The right to review your credit report in person at the credit bureau, by phone or by mail.

The right to take someone with you to review your file if you visit a credit bureau in person.

The right to have investigated within a reasonable period of time any information in your credit record that you dispute. (if the credit bureau deems your request frivolous or irrelevant," the law says that the credit bureau need not investigate.)

The right to have inaccurate information deleted from your credit record if a credit bureau investigation finds the information to be erroneous.

The right to have information deleted if the credit bureau cannot verify it through its investigation.

The right to have the credit bureau notify-at no cost to you those you name who previously reviewed the incorrect or incomplete information in your credit file that the information has been removed or changed.

The right to know who has received a copy of your credit report over the past six months for credit-granting purposes.

The right to know the names of everyone who has seen your credit record over the last two years for employment purposes.

The right to include a brief written statement that will become a permanent part of your credit record explaining your side of any dispute that cannot be resolved with a credit bureau. (You may ask that the credit reporting agency share your written statement with certain businesses. The agency must do so without charge if you make your request within 30 days of being denied credit.)

The right to have negative credit-related information deleted from your credit record after seven years.

The right to have a bankruptcy deleted after ten years.

The right to sue a credit bureau for damages if it willfully and negligently violates the law. (if you are successful in your lawsuit, you may collect attorney fees and court costs as well.)

The right to be notified by a company that it has requested an investigative report on you.

The right to request from a company pursuing an investigative report more information about the nature and the scope of the investigation.

The right to know the nature and the substance of the investigative report but not the sources.

The FCRA does not require that:

A credit bureau provide you with a copy of your credit file. (Some bureaus will do so, however, if you request it.)

A business or individual do business with you.

Any federal agency intervene on your behalf.

A credit bureau add information on accounts not already in your file. (Some credit bureaus will do this for a fee .)

Also, the FCRA does not apply to applications for commercial credit or business insurance.

NOTE: Credit bureaus may report bankruptcies for longer than ten years and other negative credit-related information for longer than seven years in the case of loans for more than $50,000, insurance policies greater than $50,000 and jobs paying more than $20,000/year. Also, information concerning a lawsuit or judgment against a consumer can be reported for seven years or until the statute of limitations runs out, whichever is longer.

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2006 ©