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Your Rights Are Important!

The Fair Credit Reporting Act

All Federal Laws are in the consumer's favor. This means you have the advantage. The specific law used here is the Federal Fair Credit Reporting Act.

One part of this law states that when you dispute any information contained on your credit file, the Credit Bureau must verify the accuracy of the information with the creditor who reported the information within 30 days. If they are unable to verify the information within 30 days, it must be removed.

Congress passed The Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) because they felt we all deserve a second chance. This act gives you the right to correct, update, amend and tell your side of what happened to the credit community. These laws do not work though unless you initiate and use them. A copy of the FCRA is included in the Appendix for your review.

The Fair Credit Reporting Act sets certain guidelines which credit bureaus and your creditors must follow when reporting your credit file, as well as giving the consumer certain rights.

All of this brings us to the fascinating task of working on your credit reports. Begin by getting defensive about your credit report. Remember that these credit reporting bureaus are just private companies selling information about you and are not your friends. You never authorized your creditors to sell this information and you are not sharing in the profits they and the credit bureaus are making.

Your Six Basic Rights under The Fair Credit Reporting Act

1. You, the consumer, have the right to challenge the accuracy of your credit report any time.

2. The credit bureaus must reinvestigate anything you challenge without a charge.

3. The credit bureaus must reinvestigate within a reasonable amount of time. 30 days constitutes a "reasonable amount of time" unless the bureau notifies you otherwise (so keep accurate records).

4. If the credit bureau finds an error in the challenged item, they must delete or correct that information in your files immediately.

5. If the credit bureaus cannot or do not confirm the challenged item within 30 days, they must delete that information from your files immediately.

6. You have the right to submit a Consumer Statement of your view of the problem. If you, as a credit consumer, dispute the accuracy of certain information in your credit report and it is verified by the creditor as correct, then the credit bureau is required to include your explanation of your dispute, if you request, in your credit report. Limit your explanation to no more than 100 words.

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