History and Details of the FCRA

From receiving a job offer to getting a loan for a new car to securing a mortgage on a dream home, the information contained in your credit report can make or break your financial future. So ensuring that everything contained in your credit report is accurate and fair is vitally important. But what keeps credit reporting agencies in check? What protections do you have as a consumer that guarantees your credit report is accurate and private? Thankfully there is a law that safeguards consumers from inaccurate data in their credit reports and background checks but prior to 1970 that was not the case.

In 1970 the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) was passed. This law was designed to promote the accuracy, fairness and privacy of information in the files of consumer reporting agencies. The FCRA features several provisions that protect consumers including but not limited to:

The right to receive your credit score
Your credit score will not only determine if you get a loan but how much interest you will pay if you secure it. There should be no guesswork when it comes to your credit score and under the FCRA there doesn’t have to be.

Remove outdated information
About a decade ago you forgot to make a payment on your new minivan but you noticed your credit report still shows this blemish. The FCRA requires reporting agencies to remove any outdated negative information that is more than 7 years old.

Full disclosure of your credit file
Just like your credit score, the information contained in your file is not out of your reach. In fact, since 2005 all consumers are entitled to one full free disclosure every 12 months.

Inform you when your credit file is used against you
Your resume is spotless and you thought the interview was a slam dunk, but you didn’t get the job. If your credit score was the reason you weren’t offered a position you have the right to know. Under the FCRA anyone who uses a consumer report to deny you a loan or employment must inform you.

Limit access to your details
Your neighbor can’t check your credit score for laughs and giggles and the reason why, the FCRA. The FCRA specifies who can access your credit information such as a landlord, potential employer or bank.

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