As a credit adviser, it’s important to understand your rights under the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA). This legislation was put in place to protect consumers from unfair credit reporting practices and ensure that credit reporting agencies are held accountable for the information they provide.
Here are some key things you should know about the FCRA:
1. You have a right to access your credit report
Under the FCRA, you have the right to request a free copy of your credit report from each of the three major credit reporting agencies (Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion) once every 12 months. This can be done through the website AnnualCreditReport.com. Reviewing your credit report regularly is important to ensure that the information is accurate and up-to-date.
2. You have a right to dispute errors on your credit report
If you find errors on your credit report, you have the right to dispute them with the credit reporting agency. They are required to investigate your dispute within 30 days and remove any inaccurate information. You can also request that the credit reporting agency send corrected information to anyone who has received your credit report in the past six months.
3. You have a right to know who has accessed your credit report
Under the FCRA, you have the right to know who has accessed your credit report within the past year for any purpose other than for marketing purposes. This can help you identify any unauthorized access to your credit report and prevent identity theft.
4. You have a right to opt-out of pre-approved credit offers
If you’re tired of receiving pre-approved credit offers in the mail, you can opt-out by calling 1-888-5-OPT-OUT or visiting OptOutPrescreen.com. This will stop the credit reporting agencies from providing your information to lenders for pre-approved offers.
5. You have a right to sue for violations of the FCRA
If a credit reporting agency violates your rights under the FCRA, you have the right to sue for damages. You can also sue for damages if a lender or employer makes a decision based on inaccurate information in your credit report.
Knowing your rights under the FCRA is important to protect your credit and financial well-being. By staying informed and taking action when necessary, you can ensure that your credit report is accurate and that you’re not being unfairly penalized by lenders or employers.