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Fair Credit Reporting Act

What can you do if you find incorrect information on your credit report? Does your report contain outdated information? How can you get a copy of your report? Find out how the FCRA works to protect your good credit by promoting the accuracy of your credit report and helping you resolve any discrepancies.

According to the FCRA:
  • You have the right to receive a copy of your credit report containing all of the information in your credit file at the time of your request. Credit reporting agencies may charge a small fee for this service.
  • You are entitled to know the name of any company or person who has been given a copy of your credit report in the last year, or in the last two years for employment purposes.
  • If an application for credit is denied based on information provided by a consumer reporting agency, the company who denied your application must give you the name and address of the CRA that provided the information.
  • If an application for credit is denied based on information provided by a consumer reporting agency, you have a right to receive a free copy of that credit report, but you must make your request within 60 days of receiving a denial notice.
  • If you question the accuracy of any information found on your credit report, you can file a dispute with both the credit reporting agency and the company that provided the information. Both the company and the CRA are legally obligated to investigate your dispute.
  • If any dispute is not resolved to your satisfaction, you have the right to add a summary explanation to your personal credit report.
  • It is illegal to report outdated credit information. Most negative information can only be reported for seven years; bankruptcies remain on your report for ten years.
  • Only businesses with a legitimate need to review your credit file can access your report. You must give specific consent for potential employer inquiries and reports that contain medical information.
  • If you choose to do so, you have a right to exclude your name from all credit reporting agency lists used by potential lenders to make unsolicited credit and insurance offers.

Recent amendments to the Fair Credit Reporting Act expand individual consumer rights and place additional restrictions on CRAs and businesses that utilize consumer reports. Individual state laws may provide additional protection.

For further information regarding this law and other consumer and credit-related rights, visit the Federal Trade Commission's web site at

Related Article: Equal Credit Opportunity Act >>

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