Do you know your rights when it comes to your credit report? Did you even know you have rights when it comes to your credit report? In October 1970, the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA), which “promotes the accuracy, fairness, and privacy of information in files of consumer reporting agencies” was enacted.
This law came right at the time when consumer credit was rocketing off, and it’s a good thing it did because through the FCRA the playing field was leveled. So what do you really need to know about your rights under the FCRA? Start with these few things:
First, you have a right to know what’s in your credit reports. It is through this right that you are able to freely access your credit report once every 12 months and therefore keep track of your report activity.
Second, only authorized users can view your report. This means that only you and someone with a legitimate reason can view it (i.e. a landlord considering your rental application, a court order stating that the information be shared, someone given explicit permission to view it by you, etc.)
And third, you have a right to do something about errors found on your report. Although, credit-reporting agencies are required under the FCRA to have procedures that ensure as much accuracy as possible, sometimes their procedures fail and errors occur. If this happens, and you spot the error, call us immediately. We can get the error corrected at no-charge to you. If it takes more than 30-45 days, we will likely be able to recover at least $1000 from those responsible for the error. For further information on how to fix credit report errors check out the McCarthy Law PLC guide for “Fixing Credit Report Errors”.
These are not the only rights you have under the FCRA other rights include: The right to not have negative information that is more than 7-10 years old be reported, the right to seek damages from violators, and more.
If you are one of the many consumers with credit, the best things you can do are first, to be aware of your rights under the FCRA and second, to take advantage of them. Start by requesting a free annual credit report from each of the big three credit bureaus at https://www.annualcreditreport.com. Then, if you find an error, reach out to McCarthy Law PLC at (855) 976-5777.
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