Fair Credit Reporting Act-Full Version: View
is a summary:
Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) is designed to promote accuracy,
fairness, and privacy of information in the files of every "consumer
reporting agency" (CRA). Most CRAs are credit bureaus that gather
and sell information about you -- such as if you pay your bills on
time or have filed bankruptcy -- to creditors, employers, landlords,
and other businesses. You can find the complete text of the FCRA, 15
U.S.C. 1681-1681u, at the Federal Trade Commission's web site (http://www.ftc.gov).
The FCRA gives you specific rights, as outlined below. You may have
additional rights under state law. You may contact a state or local
consumer protection agency or a state attorney general to learn
You must be told if information in your file has been
used against you.
Anyone who uses information from a CRA to take action against you --
such as denying an application for credit, insurance, or employment
-- must tell you, and give you the name, address, and phone number
of the CRA that provided the consumer report.
You can find out what is in your file.
At your request, a CRA must give you the information in your file,
and a list of everyone who has requested it recently. There is no
charge for the report if a person has taken action against you
because of information supplied by the CRA, if you request the
report within 60 days of receiving notice of the action. You also
are entitled to one free report every twelve months upon request if
you certify that (1) you are unemployed and plan to seek employment
within 60 days, (2) you are on welfare, or (3) your report is
inaccurate due to fraud. Otherwise, a CRA may charge you up to eight
You can dispute inaccurate information with the CRA.
If you tell a CRA that your file contains inaccurate information,
the CRA must investigate the items (usually within 30 days) by
presenting to its information source all relevant evidence you
submit, unless your dispute is frivolous. The source must review
your evidence and report its findings to the CRA. (The source also
must advise national CRAs -- to which it has provided the data -- of
any error.) The CRA must give you a written report of the
investigation, and a copy of your report if the investigation
results in any change. If the CRA's investigation does not resolve
the dispute, you may add a brief statement to your file. The CRA
must normally include a summary of your statement in future reports.
If an item is deleted or a dispute statement is filed, you may ask
that anyone who has recently received your report be notified of the
Inaccurate information must be corrected or deleted.
A CRA must remove or correct inaccurate or unverified information
from its files, usually within 30 days after you dispute it.
the CRA is not required to remove accurate data from your file
unless it is outdated (as described below) or cannot be verified.
If your dispute results in any change to your report, the CRA cannot
reinsert into your file a disputed item unless the information
source verifies its accuracy and completeness. In addition, the CRA
must give you a written notice telling you it has reinserted the
item. The notice must include the name, address and phone number of
the information source.
You can dispute inaccurate items with the source of
If you tell anyone -- such as a creditor who reports to a CRA --
that you dispute an item, they may not then report the information
to a CRA without including a notice of your dispute. In addition,
once you've notified the source of the error in writing, it may not
continue to report the information if it is, in fact, an error.
Outdated information may not be reported.
In most cases, a CRA may not report negative information that is
more than seven years old; ten years for bankruptcies.
Access to your file is limited.
A CRA may provide information about you only to people with a need
recognized by the FCRA -- usually to consider an application with a
creditor, insurer, employer, landlord, or other business.
Your consent is required for reports that are
provided to employers, or reports that contain medical information.
A CRA may not give out information about you to your employer, or
prospective employer, without your written consent. A CRA may not
report medical information about you to creditors, insurers, or
employers without your permission.
You may choose to exclude your name from CRA lists
for unsolicited credit and insurance offers.
Creditors and insurers may use file information as the basis for
sending you unsolicited offers of credit or insurance. Such offers
must include a toll-free phone number for you to call if you want
your name and address removed from future lists. If you call, you
must be kept off the lists for two years. If you request, complete,
and return the CRA form provided for this purpose, you must be taken
off the lists indefinitely.
You may seek damages from violators.
If a CRA, a
user or (in some cases) a provider of CRA data, violates the FCRA,
you may sue them in state or federal court.
The FCRA gives
several different federal agencies authority to enforce the FCRA:
FOR QUESTIONS OR CONCERNS REGARDING:
CRAs, creditors and others not listed below
Federal Trade Commission
Consumer Response Center - FCRA
Washington, DC 20580
National banks, federal branches/agencies of foreign banks
(word "National" or initials "N.A." appear in or after
of the Comptroller of the Currency
Compliance Management, Mail Stop 6-6
Washington, DC 20219
Federal Reserve System member banks (except national banks,
and federal branches/agencies of foreign banks)
Federal Reserve Board
Division of Consumer & Community Affairs
Washington, DC 20551
Savings associations and federally chartered savings banks
(word "Federal" or initials "F.S.B." appear in federal
of Thrift Supervision
Washington, DC 20552
Federal credit unions (words "Federal Credit Union" appear
in institution's name)
National Credit Union Administration
1775 Duke Street
Alexandria, VA 22314
State-chartered banks that are not members of the Federal
Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation
Division of Compliance & Consumer Affairs
Washington, DC 20429
surface, or rail common carriers regulated by former Civil
Aeronautics Board or Interstate Commerce Commission
Department of Transportation
Office of Financial Management
Washington, DC 20590