Consumer Protection and the Fair Credit Reporting Act.

Orland Copeland
July 20, 2022
The Law

The Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) was enacted in 1970 and has seen two amendments. The FCRA is pro-consumers; it governs how credit reporting agencies report and use the data they collect on your credit history.

Primarily, the Act protects consumers from the consequences of inaccurate information that credit reporting agencies can disseminate. Therefore, it focuses on guaranteeing Americans' credit data accuracy, fairness, and privacy.

Notable Consumer Protection Provisions Under the FCRA

The Fair Credit Reporting Act has major provisions protecting consumers. We explain some of them below.

Access to Credit Reports

The FCRA grants consumers the right to demand and get one free credit report every 12 months. So, you can request these reports on Notably, there are three relevant credit reporting agencies under this law. They are:

  • Equifax
  • Experian
  • TransUnion
Disputing Credit Reports

Credit reports often have errors. Fortunately, you don't have to accept such mistakes. Instead, the FCRA allows you to dispute your credit report. Such disputes can lead to a correction of credit report errors. Consequently, you can improve your credit score and access to credit.

Limited Access to Credit Reports

Another advantage of the FCRA is that you can partially determine who sees your credit reports. Only legitimate entities who you have business with can access your credit report. These include:

  • Banks
  • Insurance companies
  • Employers
  • Landlords
  • Business partners

However, current, or potential employers need your consent to get your credit report.

Protection of Private Data

The FCRA also ensures that credit reporting agencies don't publish vital personal information. For example, agencies cannot publish whole credit card numbers on receipts. In addition, they cannot expose your social security number.

Finally, your medical information cannot appear on your credit report. This is because of the rules on medical privacy. Furthermore, creditors are prohibited from using your medical data when making credit decisions.

Activating a Credit Freeze

A credit freeze refers to a temporary limit on those who can access your credit file. Potential lenders and other individuals cannot see your credit report until you lift the freeze with this feature. However, you can also grant specific parties a one-time PIN to access your credit file.

Notification of Possible Negative Information

Notably, the FCRA mandates that you get notifications if a financial or other institution submits or intends to submit negative information to a credit reporting agency. This preemptive notice allows you to verify the authenticity of the data.

Notification of Adverse Uses of Your Credit Report

Employers and financial institutions can use your credit report against you. For instance, they can deny you credit facilities. In such cases, the organization must notify you of this negative use of your credit report. They must also share the details of the agency that supplied your credit information.

NueCred Can Help

The FCRA protects consumers, but what's the use of legal protections that you are not aware of? So, if you believe that you may have inaccuracies on your credit report that could put you in a disadvantaged position, you can contact NueCred to help you understand your options for changing your situation.