The Fair Credit Reporting Act, or FCRA, is a federal law that is designed to make sure that the information on an individual’s credit report is correct and complete.
The FCRA also ensures that this sensitive financial information is not shared except for legitimate reasons.
The Act is an important piece of consumer protection legislation. A lot can be riding on a person’s credit score. Not only can it determine whether a North Carolina resident will or will not be able to buy a house or car or get a loan, a credit report can also impact a person’s ability to rent an apartment, get a job or even find affordable insurance rates.
While businesses do have the right in most cases to use a person’s credit score and report to make business decisions, a Fayetteville resident should at least be able to expect that the decisions are based on accurate information.
People have the right to know what is in their credit history
The right to know is one important right granted to consumers by the FCRA. Basically, people have the right to be told if an unfavorable business decision, like a loan declination for example, is because of information in their report.
They also have the right to receive a credit report for free at least once a year, and they may have the right to request an additional free report in certain circumstances.
People have the right to a current and accurate credit history
Another provision of the FCRA provides that report may not include adverse information older than 7 years, or 10 years in the case of a bankruptcy.
The report also must not include inaccuracies. If a consumer disputes the information in a report, then in most cases the reporting agency has to investigate the claim. If it turns out that information is incomplete, unverifiable or just wrong, the reporting agency will normally have 30 days to remove the action.