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Do you know what's in your credit report? Because of the terms of the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA), you have the right to know exactly what credit reporting agencies are putting on your credit report.
That's only one of the rights that the FCRA guarantees you - and every consumer.
The Fair Credit Reporting Act was enacted to ensure the accuracy and privacy of your credit report.
All Businesses that use information on your credit report to determine whether or not, to lend you money or offer you credit are bound to follow guidelines that are set out by the Fair Credit Reporting Act.
In addition, any company or agency that collects debts must also follow certain guidelines that are set out by the law.
The provisions of the Fair Credit Reporting Act detail how long particular financial information may be retained on your report, specify ways for you to make corrections to information that is contained on your credit report, guarantee your right to see your credit report, and give you rights when dealing with creditors.
What specifically are these guidelines and how can they help you if a credit agency is reporting untrue or misleading information about your credit history? 1) You have a right to see your credit report.
If you have been turned down for credit, housing or employment based on information provided by a credit reporting agency, you have a right to know which agency provided the report.
Upon your request, the creditor must give you the name and address of the credit reporting agency that they used.
Further, the credit reporting agency must provide you with your credit report upon your written request for it, and they must do so for no more than the cost of copying and postage.
2) You have the right to correct your credit report.
If the credit report you receive contains inaccuracies - for instance, a paid or settled debt is still listed as unpaid - you have the right to request that it be corrected with the accurate information.
The request must be made in writing, and the credit reporting agency to whom you make the request must investigate it within 30 days of their receipt.
3) You have the right to receive a corrected copy of the report at no additional charge.
You may have to pay for postage.
You may make a written request to have a corrected copy of your credit report sent to you, or to any agency that has requested your credit report in the past six months for credit purposes, or in the past two years for employment purposes.
4) You have the right to fair collection practices.
If a creditor is trying to collect a debt from you, they must follow guidelines designed to prevent you from being harassed.
Among those guidelines are: 1.
They can only call you within certain prescribed hours.
2.
They can not share information about you to any third party without your permission.
This includes the fact that they are attempting to collect a debt.
3.
They can not attempt to contact you at work without your specific permission.
4.
They can not use false or misleading statements to extract information or payments.
5.
They must honor a written request to cease further contact with you.
In a world where your credit report is often your ticket to a better-paying job, housing, credit and many other things, it's important to know what credit agencies are reporting about you.
Most consumer protection agencies strongly recommend that you request and carefully read your credit report every year so that you can correct any inaccuracies, or request that reports of special circumstances be attached to the report.
It's a small task that could save you a lot in the long run.
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