What to know about the FCRA

Credit scores are important to many people in Vadnais Heights, Minnesota, because it determines if they can get loans. Inaccurate credit reports can also cause consumers to get denied for leasing property and insurance. For this reason, Congress passed the Fair Credit Reporting Act to protect consumer privacy and give them rights.

Fair Credit Reporting Act

The Fair Credit Reporting Act passed in 1970 to govern the what information credit bureaus collect about the consumer, who sees it and how they collect it. The FCRA has seen several changes through the years, and the most recent relates to affiliate marketing and pre-screen opt-outs.

It also gives consumers a right to find out what information a company used to deny them employment or credit. The FCRA makes reporting what a lender has reason to believe is inaccurate information, such as closed accounts reported open, available to consumers. While some entities do not require permission to view the report, such as a landlord or a mortgage lender, an employer may need to get permission.

Disputing errors on credit reports

If a consumer finds an error, they can file a dispute with one of the three major credit bureaus. Consumers are allowed one free credit report annually from all three bureaus and more under certain circumstances.

Once the complaint has been submitted, the bureaus must contact the entity that furnished the information to verify it and remove outdated data. It allows consumers to place a freeze on third parties accessing reports and requires lenders to get permission.

If an entity has violated the FCRA, consumers can file a complaint with the Federal Trade Commission or Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. These are the agencies that have power to enforce the FCRA law and impose fines for violations.