The Federal Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) promotes the accuracy, fairness, and privacy of information in the files of consumer reporting agencies.  Credit reporting agencies are federally mandated to report only accurate information regarding a consumer.  Additionally, consumer reporting agencies may not report outdated negative information. For example, a consumer reporting agency may not report negative information that is more than seven years old, or bankruptcies that are more than 10 years old.

You may request and obtain all the information about you in the files of a consumer reporting agency.  You are entitled to a free file disclosure if:


1) a person has taken adverse action against you because of information in your credit report;

2) you are the victim of identify theft and place a fraud alert in your file;

3) your file contains inaccurate information as a result of fraud;

4) you are on public assistance;

you are unemployed but expect to apply for employment within 60 days.


In addition, all consumers are entitled to one free disclosure every 12 months upon request from each nationwide credit bureau and from nationwide specialty consumer reporting agencies.  You also have the right to ask for a credit score, but you will have to pay for it.


Moreover, as a consumer you have the right to know what is in your file. You have the right to dispute incomplete or inaccurate information.  If you identify information in your file that is incomplete or inaccurate, and report it to the consumer reporting agency, the agency must investigate, unless your dispute is frivolous.  Once you dispute incomplete or inaccurate information, the consumer reporting agencies must correct or delete any inaccurate, incomplete, or unverifiable information, usually within 30 days. However, a consumer reporting agency may continue to report information it has verified as accurate.



by Laila Thompson