Fair Credit Reporting Act
There are many types of consumer reporting agencies, including credit bureaus and agen-
cies that sell information about your check writing history, medical records, and rental his-
tory records. The federal Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) promotes the accuracy, fair-
ness, and privacy of information in the files of consumer reporting agencies; it also gives
consumers certain rights.
Your Credit File You must be told if information in your file has been used against you. Anyone
who uses a credit report or other type of consumer report to deny your application for
credit, insurance, or employment - or to take another adverse action against you -
must tell you, and must give you the name, address, and phone number of the agency
that provided the information.
File Disclosure You have the right to know what is in your file. You may request an obtain all the
information about you in the files of a consumer reporting agency. You will be re-
quired to provide proper identification, which may include your social security num-
ber. In many cases, this disclosure is free. You are entitled to a free file disclosure if:
• You are the victim of identity theft and place a fraud alert in your file;
• Your file contains inaccurate information as a result of fraud;
• A person has taken adverse action against you because of information in your
• You are on public assistance or you are unemployed but expect to apply for em-
ployment within 60 days.
Credit Score You have the right to ask for a credit score. Credit scoring is a system creditors use
to help determine whether to give you credit, and how much to charge you for it. A
high credit score indicates a good credit worthiness, and will qualify the score holder
for loans at lower interest rates.
To arrive at a credit score, the consumer reporting agencies look at your bill-paying
history, late payments, collection actions, the number of credit accounts, etc., and as-
signs points to each factor. The to