Thursday, November 20, 2008

Its time to know the FCRA

The Fair Credit Reporting Act along with the FDCPA (Fair debt collection practices act) is an American Federal Law which forms the base of consumer credit rights in USA. This act promotes the privacy of information on your file, the accuracy of your report and the fairness of reporting.

Know your rights under the FCRA:

1. Right to know the components of your file:

You have the right to do so giving proper verification of your identity. This will require your SSN. You are entitled to free reports in case of the following:

• Victim of identity theft and you place a fraud alert in your file.
• Legal action against you due to some information on your file.
• You are on public welfare
• As a result of fraud your file consists of inaccurate information.
• Unemployed but contemplating employment within 60 days.
• Entitled to one free annual credit report from each of the three bureaus.

2. Right to know your credit score:

You can ask for your score from the Credit reporting agencies or from ones who calculate your credit score. This comes for a price. However you get to know your score for free if your mortgage lender makes a pull on your report and score.

3. Right to dispute:

If you have found incorrect information on your report you can write to the bureaus and dispute it. They have to investigate into the matter if you provide relevant details.

4. Right to know who used your file against you:

Whoever is using your file to deny your credit or to take legal action against you, has to inform you and provide you with details of Name, address and the agency that is being used for the purpose.

5. CRA deleting invalid information:

Incorrect or invalid information have to be deleted after investigation and within 30 days.

6. Not updating of outdated negative account:

Seven years old negatives and 10 years old bankruptcies may not be reported to the credit bureau.

7. Limited access to your file:

In case you want to provide your information only to few. The FCRA defines who can have valid access to your file namely the creditor, employer, insurer, and businesses dealing with you or landlords.

8. Right to give consent before employer pulls file:

Unless there is a written permission your CRA cannot provide your information to your employer or a potential employer.

9. Limiting the pre-screened offers that you receive:

The pre-screened offers must leave their toll-free for you to call and opt out of their contact. You can use this number as well for the purpose 1-888-567-8688

10. Asking for damage control from violators:

Any violation of FCRA from any agency, you can sue them in the state or the federal court.

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