What is the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA)?

The FCRA was passed in 1970 to regulate how credit reporting agencies (CRAs) handle your credit information. The act has been modified over the years to make changes to its consumer protections, but its main purpose has remained the same. The Fair Credit Reporting Act was enacted to set up guidelines and standards for consumer credit reporting and to provide protections for consumers from having inaccurate information on their credit reports. The three major credit reporting agencies, sometimes referred to as “Credit Bureaus” are Experian, Equifax, and TransUnion. LexisNexis is also considered a credit reporting agency and is relied on for information that TransUnion, Equifax, and Experian sometimes may not supply to potential lenders, particularly mortgage lending companies.

The FCRA also requires “Data Furnishers” to report accurate information to the CRAs. Data Furnishers are the companies that supply data on consumers to the CRAs to be placed in a consumer’s credit file and on their credit report. Examples of Data Furnishers are credit card companies, debt collectors, mortgage companies, and landlords. If a consumer alerts a data furnisher through a letter sent to a credit reporting agency that they are reporting inaccurate information, the data furnisher has a duty to perform an investigation into the accuracy of the data they are reporting on that consumer.

How Does the FCRA Protect Consumers Like You?

The FCRA requires the CRAs to have policies and procedures in place to ensure maximum possible accuracy so that potential landlords, employers, credit card companies, and loan officers only see accurate information about you when they obtain your credit report for a valid reason. Here’s an overview of the rights that the FCRA provides to you as a consumer.

You Can Legally Address the Accuracy and Completeness of Your Records

For instance, your credit report could show that someone obtained a judgment against another person who shares the same name as you. Obviously, this debt is not yours but it is appearing on your credit reports. You have the right to dispute inaccurate information and have it corrected by the entity reporting the inaccuracy. This can be a tedious process and it is always advisable to seek the guidance of an experienced consumer attorney to assist you in this process.

You Have the Right to Access Your Information on File

You can obtain free copies of your credit reports from Equifax, TransUnion, and Experian at www.annualcreditreport.com. This site is not affiliated with our firm in any way, however, it is a great resource for consumers. Remember to access this website from a desktop or laptop computer so you can save your free copies as PDF documents or print a hard copy on paper. It is important to always save copies of your credit reports for an attorney to review if you happen to discover any inaccuracies.

Common Violations of the FCRA

Having incorrect credit information in your file could lead to a low credit score, credit denials, lost employment and housing opportunities, and more. If you believe inaccuracies, errors, or otherwise false information is being reported on your credit report, reach out to an experienced credit attorney today.

With nearly 25 years of attorney experience on our side, Raburn Kaufman will fight to protect your rights as a consumer. Contact us today for a free consultation at (877) 662-2455 or email info@raburnkaufman.com. We’ll be glad to help.