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Fair credit reporting

Learn what's in your credit report and how you can get a copy of credit report.
If you've ever applied for a charge account, a personal loan, insurance, or a job, there's a file about you. This file contains information on where you work and live, how you pay your bills, and whether you've been sued, arrested, or filed for bankruptcy.
Companies that gather and sell this information are called consumer reporting agencies. The most common type is the credit bureau. The information they sell about you to creditors, employers, insurers, and other businesses is called a credit report.
The Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA), enforced by the Federal Trade Commission, is designed to give accuracy and privacy to the information used in consumer reports. Recent amendments to the Act expand your rights and place additional requirements on credit report agencies. Businesses that supply information about you to credit report agencies and those that use credit reports also have new responsibilities under the law.
Finding the credit report agency that has my report.
To find out the credit bureaus maintaining your file, contact the three major national credit bureaus, which are:
P.O. Box 740241
Atlanta, GA 30374-0241
(800) 685-1111.

P.O. Box 2104
Allen, TX 75013
(888) EXPERIAN (888-397-3742).

Trans Union
P.O. Box 1000
Chester, PA 19022
(800) 916-8800.

In addition, anyone who denies your application for credit, insurance, or employment, on the basis of a credit report, must give you the name, address, and telephone number of the CRA that provided the credit report.
My right to know what is in my credit report.
The credit report agency must tell you everything in your credit report, including medical information, and in most cases, the sources of the information. They must also tell you anyone who has requested your credit report within the past year - two years for employment related requests.
Correcting inaccurate or incomplete information.
The law makes both the CRA and the information provider responsible for correcting inaccurate or incomplete information in your credit report.
First, tell the credit report agency in writing what information you believe is inaccurate. Credit report agencies must reinvestigate the credit recotds in question - usually within 30 days - unless they consider your dispute frivolous. They also must forward all relevant data you provide about the dispute to the information provider. After the information provider receives notice of a dispute from the credit report agency, it must investigate, review all relevant information provided by the credit report agency, and credit report the results to the credit report agency. If the information provider finds the disputed information to be incorrect, it must notify all nationwide credit report agencies so that they can correct this information in your file.
When the reinvestigation is complete, the credit report agency must give you the written results and a free copy of your report if the dispute results in a change. If a credit record is changed or removed, the credit report agency cannot put the disputed information back in your credit file unless the information provider verifies its accuracy and completeness, and the credit report agency gives you a written notice that includes the name, address, and phone number of the provider.
Second, tell the creditor or other information provider in writing that you dispute a credit record. Many providers specify an address for disputes. If the provider then reports the item to any credit report agency, it must include a notice of your dispute. In addition, if you are correct - that is, if the information is inaccurate - the information provider may not use it again.
A reinvestigation may not resolve your dispute with the credit report agency. If that's the case, ask the credit report agency to include your statement of the dispute in your credit file and in future credit reports. If you request, the credit report agency also will provide your statement to anyone who received a copy of the old report in the recent past. There usually is a fee for this service.
If you tell the information provider that you dispute a credit record, a notice of your dispute must be included anytime the information provider reports the credit record to a credit report agency.
Note that a credit report agency may not supply information about you to your employer, or to a prospective employer, without your consent. NeitherNeither can they give your medical information to creditors, employers, or insurers without your approval.
Investigative Consumer Reports.
Investigative consumer reports are detailed reports that involve interviews with your neighbors or acquaintances about your lifestyle, character, and reputation. They may be used in connection with insurance and employment applications. You'll be notified in writing when a company orders such a report. The notice will explain your right to request certain information about the credit report from the company you applied to. If your application is rejected, you may get additional information from the credit report agency. However, the credit report agency does not have to reveal the sources of the information.

Published: 2021/11/07
November, 07 2001 - "Fair credit reporting."
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