Your credit report includes a lot information about you financial health and past.

And sometimes, lenders, employers, or potential landlords will use. it This will help you decide if they should approve or deny your request for a loan, credit card, job, apartment, or other financial services. 

Because the Accuracy the Information on your credit reports is so important, it’s even more crucial that credit-reporting agencies be held to You will be held responsible for any misinformation or misuse regarding your personal financial information. That’s where the Fair Credit Reporting Act is the key. 

What is the Fair Credit Reporting Act? 

In 1970, it was passed. the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA). is A federal law was created to protect the Fairness, accuracy, privacy the Credit reporting agencies may collect personal information and report it. “The Fair Credit Reporting Act guarantees that consumers will have access to a process to address issues and items reflected in their credit report,” Michael Pugh is president and CEO at Carver Federal Savings Bank. the Banks managed by African Americans are the oldest and most successful. the United States “It also requires Credit Reporting Agencies to maintain privacy of consumers’ personal information.” 

These protections are so important. Because credit is A vital tool to building wealth and hitting some of life’s major milestones. Lenders can use your credit report and score to determine the likelihood that you’ll repay them for any money you borrow, it Potential landlords can also use it in tenant screenings. Even potential employers might review your credit report before making any hiring decisions. 

False information could seriously harm your chances of reaching your goals. You can also find some helpful information here. consumers, the There is a possibility that incorrect information may be included in their credit reports is These numbers are significantly higher. 

According to A 2021 report From the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, Credit reporting inaccuracies are most common in Black and Hispanic areas. Nearly all credit categories were reviewed (auto loans and student loans, credit cards and retail cards). consumers More than twice as likely to live in majority Black areas is to Are there any disputes on credit reports? to consumers Living in the majority of white areas. For auto loans consumers In majority Black areas, the likelihood of a disaster was three times higher to Credit reports showing disputes. 

“Errors, omissions, and incorrect information are common violations under the Fair Credit Reporting Act. In fact, more than a third of people surveyed by Consumer Reports found their credit reports rife with errors, heightening calls to fix a broken system that fails consumers,” Pugh.

How Does the fair credit reporting act protect consumers? 

Some of these the These are the key rights and protections the FRCA guarantees consumers: 

  1. Notify us if you notice. the Information in your credit file was used against yourself. If you are refused credit, employment, or another type of credit, the Credit reporting agencies must provide you with the Name, address, and number the Agency that provides the information.
  2. You have the right to Learn more the Information contained in your file Each of these agencies will provide a free credit report. the three major credit bureaus every 12 months through, although currently all three major credit reporting agencies are offering free weekly online credit reports through December 2023 because of the COVID-19 pandemic. Equifax is All are welcome to participate. the Through its website, six credit reports for free in the USA each year up to 2023 
  3. You have the right to Request a credit score. One of the following websites will allow you to access your credit score: the Three major credit bureaus.
  4. You have the right to You can dispute incorrect or false information You can identify credit information from your credit report is Report inaccurate information it to the Consumer reporting agency the Your claim must be investigated by an agency and any inaccurate information removed from your credit report. 
  5. Credit reporting agencies can’t report outdated negative information. A consumer reporting agency can’t report negative information that is Bankruptcies older than 7 years or more than 10 years.
  6. Credit Only credit agencies will share your credit reports if they are required by law. is It is a legitimate need. Your credit report can’t be given to Not everyone. Unter the FCRA-authorized agencies can only share your reports with people who have a legitimate need such as a creditor or insurer, employer (with you written consent), landlord, or other person. 
  7. You have the option to opt out “prescreened” Offers for new credit and insurance Prescreened offers must be provided for insurance and credit. consumers They can reach you by calling a toll-free number to Remove their contact information the Companies use lists to Contact potential customers 
  8. You already have the Right to Place a security freeze in your credit. The freezing of your credit file prevents potential creditors from accessing it and also stops you (or possible scammers) opening new accounts under your name. 
  9. Violators can be sued for damages. If a credit reporting agency is found to be in violation of the FRCA may be used in any manner that you might be able to sue for damages. 

How can consumers Report violations or dispute errors

If you notice an error on your credit report, don’t wait to Take action. 

“For consumers that find incorrect information on their credit report, they should immediately dispute the item with the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau as well as each Credit Reporting Agency, that is, Equifax, TransAmerica, and Experian. The Fair Credit Reporting Act allows them to obtain a free copy of their report and outlines a process by which the consumer can present evidence to correct the record,” Pugh.

All three credit bureaus (Equifax, Experian?, and TransUnion) allow you to file a dispute online, over the You can also contact us by phone or mail. You can also reach us by email. the Reporter: Company or issuer the False information to the credit bureau (i.e., the “furnisher”) and dispute the An error occurred it While you wait for your dispute to be resolved, consider these options. to With the Credit bureau. 

 “The bottom line is the consumer must be vigilant in protecting their credit and more must be done to ensure equal access to capital for black and brown communities,” Pugh.