A Summary of Your Rights Under the Fair Credit Reporting Act
Last Updated: October 22, 2013
The federal Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) promotes the accuracy, fairness and privacy of information in the files of consumer reporting agencies. There are many types of consumer reporting agencies, including credit bureaus and specialty agencies (such as agencies that sell information about check writing histories, medical records, and rental history records). Here is a summary of your major rights under the FCRA. For more information, including information about additional rights, go to www.consumerfinance.gov/learnmore or write to:
Consumer Financial Protection Bureau,
1700 G Street N.W.,
Washington, DC 20006.
You must be told if information in your file has been used against you. Anyone who uses a credit report or another type of consumer report to deny your application for credit, insurance or employment — or take another adverse action against you — must tell you and give you the name, address and phone number of the agency that provided the information.
You have the right to know what is in your file. You may request and obtain all the information about you in the files of a consumer reporting agency (your “file disclosure”). You will be required to provide proper identification, which may include your Social Security number. In many cases, the disclosure will be free. You are entitled to a free file disclosure if: a person has taken adverse action against you because of information in a report; you are the victim of identity theft and place a fraud alert in your file; your file contains inaccurate information as a result of fraud; you are on public assistance; or you are unemployed but expect to apply for employment within 60 days. In addition, all consumers are entitled to one free disclosure every 12 months upon request from each nationwide credit bureau and from nationwide specialty consumer reporting agencies. See www.consumerfinance.gov/learnmore for additional information.
You have the right to ask for a credit score. Credit scores are numerical summaries of your credit-worthiness based on information from credit bureaus. You may request a credit score from consumer reporting agencies that create scores or distribute scores used in residential real property loans, but you will have to pay for it. In some mortgage transactions, you will receive credit score information for free from the mortgage lender.
You have the right to dispute incomplete or inaccurate information. If you identify information in your file that is incomplete or inaccurate and report it to the consumer reporting agency, the agency must investigate unless your dispute is frivolous. See www.consumerfinance.gov/learnmore for an explanation of dispute procedures.
Consumer reporting agencies must correct or delete inaccurate, incomplete or unverifiable information. Inaccurate, incomplete or unverifiable information must be removed or corrected, usually within 30 days. However, a consumer reporting agency may continue to report information it has verified as accurate.
Consumer reporting agencies may not report outdated negative information. In most cases, a consumer reporting agency may not report negative information that is more than seven years old, or bankruptcies that are more than ten years old.
Access to your file is limited. A consumer reporting agency may provide information about you only to people with a valid need — usually to consider an application with a creditor, insurer, employer, landlord or other business. The FCRA specifies those with a valid need for access.
You must give your consent for reports to be provided to employers. A consumer reporting agency may not give out information about you to your employer, or a potential employer, without your written consent given to the employer. Written consent generally is not required in the trucking industry. For more information, go to www.consumerfinance.gov/learnmore.
You may limit “prescreened” offers of credit and insurance you get based on information in your credit report. Unsolicited “prescreened” offers for credit and insurance must include a toll-free phone number you can call if you choose to remove your name and address from the lists these offers are based on. You may opt out with the nationwide credit bureaus at 1-888-5-OPT-OUT.
You may seek damages from violators. If a consumer reporting agency, or in some cases, a user of consumer reports or a furnisher of information to a consumer reporting agency violates the FCRA, you may be able to sue in state or federal court.
Identity theft victims and active duty military personnel have additional rights. For more information, visit www.consumerfinance.gov/learnmore.
States may enforce the FCRA, and many states have their own consumer reporting laws. In some cases, you may have more rights under state law. For more information, contact your state or local consumer protection agency or your state Attorney General. For information about your federal rights, contact:
TYPE OF BUSINESS
Banks, savings associations, and credit unions with total assets of over $10 billion and their affiliates.
Bureau of Consumer Financial Protection
1700 G Street NW
Washington, DC 20006
Such affiliates that are not banks, savings associations or credit unions also should contact in addition to the Bureau:
Federal Trade Commission
Consumer Response Center — FCRA
Washington, DC 20580
TO THE EXTENT NOT INCLUDING ABOVE:
National banks, federal savings association, and federal branches/agencies of foreign banks
Office of the Comptroller of the Currency Customer Assistance Group
1301 McKinney Street, Suite 3450
Houston, TX 77010-9050
Creditors Subject to Packers and Stockyards Act
Nearest Packers and Stockyards Administration area supervisor
State member banks, branches and agencies of foreign banks (other than federal branches, federal agencies, and insured state branches of foreign banks), commercial lending companies owned or controlled by foreign banks, and organizations operating under section 25 or 25A of the Federal Reserve Act
Federal Reserve Consumer Help Center
P.O. Box 1200
Minneapolis, MS 55480
Small Business Investment Companies
Associate Deputy Administrator for Capital Access
United States Small Business Administration
409 Third Street, SW, 8th Floor
Washington, DC 20416
Nonmember Insured Banks, Insured State Branches of Foreign Banks, and Insured State Savings Associations
FDIC Consumer Response Center
1100 Walnut Street, Box #11
Kansas City, MO 64106
Brokers and Dealers Securities and Exchange Commission
100 F Street NE
Washington, DC 20549
Federal Credit Unions
National Credit Union Administration Office of Consumer Protection (OCP)
Division of Consumer Compliance and Outreach (DCCO)
1775 Duke Street
Alexandria, VA 22314
Federal Land Banks, Federal Land Bank Associations, Federal Intermediate Credit Banks and Production Credit Associations
Farm Credit Administration
1501 Farm Credit Drive
McLean, VA 22102-5090
Asst. General Counsel for Aviation Enforcement & Proceedings
Department of Transportation
400 Seventh Street SW
Washington, DC 20590
Retailers, Finance Companies and All Other Creditors Not Listed Above
FTC Regional Office for region in which the creditor operates or Federal Trade Commission: Consumer Response Center — FCRA
Washington, DC 20580
Creditors Subject to Surface Transportation Board
Office of Proceedings, Surface Transportation Board
Department of Transportation
1925 K Street NW
Washington, DC 20423