How much do you know about the Fair Credit Reporting Act?

When it comes to financial entities like credit bureaus, most consumers are well aware of their existence and understand that the information held in their files can make a dramatic difference in their everyday lives, affecting everything from their ability to purchase a car or secure a loan.

Despite this knowledge, most consumers are relatively uninformed as to how these financial entities actually function, simply assuming that they are acting within the bounds of the law in their otherwise arcane dealings. Perhaps worse, most consumers believe that they are somehow at the mercy of these financial entities and/or left with little recourse in the event they are somehow harmed by their actions.    

This, of course, is a far from true. Indeed, one needn’t look any further than the Fair Credit Reporting Act, or FCRA, a landmark piece of legislation passed by Congress back in 1970 that is still providing consumers with a considerable degree of protection.

According to the Federal Trade Commission, the FCRA is a federal law designed to promote “the accuracy, fairness and privacy of information in the files of consumer reporting agencies.” In simpler terms, the FCRA helps ensure that a consumer’s credit information is accurate, reported objectively and kept confidential.

The question naturally arises then as to how exactly the FCRA does this or, in other words, the rights that it bestows upon consumers.  

Any answer to this question, however, must be prefaced by a discussion of what entities are covered by the FCRA, including credit reporting agencies and information suppliers.

We’ll examine this in our next post …

In the meantime, if you have questions about your rights under the FCRA or other consumer law concerns, consider speaking with a skilled legal professional who can provide answers and help you pursue justice.