What’s in your credit report?
A credit report contains information about where a person lives, how they pay their bills, and whether they’ve been sued or filed for bankruptcy. Credit reporting companies sell the data in a credit report to businesses, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) says. These businesses use this information to evaluate applications for credit, insurance, employment, or renting a home.
The Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) and how it works for you
According to the FTC, the Fair Credit Reporting Act promotes the accuracy and privacy of information in the files of the nation’s credit reporting companies. How does it benefit the consumer?
Under the FCRA:
- A person has the right to receive a copy of their credit report, which must contain all the information in their file at the time of the request.
- Each of the nationwide credit reporting agencies is required to provide a free copy of a person’s credit report.
- Under federal law, a person is entitled to a free report if a company takes adverse action against them. Denying an application for credit, insurance, or employment is considered an adverse action. The person can ask for their report within 60 days of receiving a notice of the action. This notice will include the name, address, and phone number of the credit reporting company.
- A person is entitled one free report a year if they’re unemployed and looking for a job within 60 days; if they are on welfare; or if a report is inaccurate because of fraud.
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