The Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) requires each of the nationwide consumer reporting companies-Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion — to provide you with a free copy of your credit report, at your request, once every 12 months. The Federal Trade Commission (FTC), the nation’s consumer protection agency, has prepared a brochure, Your Access to Free Credit Reports, explaining your rights under the FCRA and how to order a free annual credit report.
A credit report includes information on where you live, how you pay your bills, and whether you’ve been sued, arrested, or filed for bankruptcy. Nationwide consumer reporting companies sell the information in your report to creditors, insurers, employers, and other businesses that use it to evaluate your applications for credit, insurance, employment, or renting a home.
If a credit bureau or another business violates your FCRA rights, you may be able to sue in Federal court for up to $1,000 or your actual damages.
Your rights under the FCRA consist of:
- You can know who’s accessed your credit report
- You have the right to a free credit report every year
- You must be told if your credit report is used against you
- You have the right to dispute inaccurate information
- You have the right to a timely credit report
- You can view the credit score based on your credit report
- You can reject pre-screened offers based on your credit report
- You have the right to sue businesses that violate these rights
Source: Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA)