Your Rights Under the FCRA
The Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) has been in effect since 1970 to protect consumers on a federal level from inaccurate and unfair credit reporting practices. This act regulates the activities of consumer reporting agencies, data furnishers, and users of consumer reports.
This pamphlet is not intended to be a complete or official summary of the FCRA. The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) enforces the FCRA on the federal level. There may be regulations in the state where you reside that provide further consumer protection. State laws vary. For more information on the FCRA or state laws, write to:
P.O. Box 390106
Minneapolis, MN 55439-0106.
A user of a consumer report must notify a consumer upon taking any type of adverse action that is based, in whole or in part, on information contained in a consumer report. Adverse action may be exemplified by, but is not limited to, charging a greater cost for insurance, charging a higher interest rate or denying employment.
When an adverse action is taken due to an unfavorable credit report, notification of such action must be provided to the consumer within 5 days of taking the action.
The consumer then has 60 days to request information that was relied upon in taking the action.
The Consumer Reporting Agency (CRA) has 30 days to respond to that request.
When a consumer disputes a debt, the CRA has a duty to investigate the disputed information. The CRA has 30 days to investigate the claim. Within five days after the conclusion of the investigation, the CRA must inform the consumer of the results in writing.
Consumer Reporting Practices
A consumer reporting agency may:
- Report accounts that have been placed in collections for a period of seven years.
- Provide a consumer report to a certified user.
- Delete or modify an item on a consumer report if it cannot be verified or the item has changed.
A data furnisher must:
- Report all debts accurately.
- Report all disputes to the consumer reporting agency
- Investigate all disputes after receiving valid notice from the consumer.
- Not report information that it knows or should reasonably know is inaccurate.
- Not leave an account marked undisputed if a consumer has informed the furnisher of a dispute.
Credit Reporting Agency's Rights
- Has thirty days to conduct an investigation in response to a dispute.
Upon receiving notice of dispute, has five days to notify the data furnisher.
- May determine a dispute is frivolous or irrelevant if there is no evidence to the contrary.
- You may dispute the information contained in your credit report; you may dispute it to either the consumer reporting agency or the data furnisher.
- If your dispute is valid, the information in your credit report must be corrected or deleted accordingly.
- You may request one copy of your consumer report per year at no charge.