Fair Credit Reporting Act

In today’s world, information is power. Banks, insurance companies, cell phone carriers, car dealerships, landlords, and others pay millions of dollars a year to consumer reporting agencies for this information. Consumer reporting agencies, sometimes referred to as credit reporting agencies or credit bureaus, are in the business of collecting and interpreting consumer information, compiling it into credit files, and then selling and disseminating the information to third parties as credit reports.

Errors in credit reports ruin lives. The information in your credit report, whether accurate or not, may be used to deny your credit application or as a basis for offering you less favorable terms, such as a higher interest rate on a loan. Your credit report can also affect your ability to rent an apartment, obtain insurance of your choice, or even get a job. Therefore, knowing what’s in your credit file is critical to understanding how your creditors, landlord, or prospective employers perceive your creditworthiness, credit standing, credit capacity, character, and general reputation.

The federal Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) protects consumers by regulating credit bureaus, the individuals and companies which access and use consumer credit reports, and the individuals and companies which report information about consumers to the credit bureaus. The FCRA also provides consumers with the right to receive one free copy of their credit report from the nationwide credit bureaus every twelve (12) months. Identity theft victims and consumers denied credit based on information in their credit report may also have the right to receive a free copy of their credit report under the FCRA.

The FCRA ensures the information in your credit report is accurate and up to date, and that no one accesses your credit report without having a legitimate reason for doing so, called a “permissible purpose,” as listed in 15 U.S.C. 1681b. Find out today what’s in your credit file and who has accessed your credit reports.

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Is there inaccurate or out-of-date information in your credit report? Has anyone pulled your credit report without permission? Have you been denied credit because of inaccurate, misleading, or unverifiable information in your credit report? Under the Fair Credit Reporting Act, you may be entitled to relief in the form of money damages, attorney’s fees, costs, and in cases where the violator’s conduct was willful, statutory damages of up to $1,000. Attorney Zachary L. Taylor at Winton & Hiestand Law Group may be able to assist you with your claim. Contact us today for a free consultation.