How to protect your credit score…
We all know how important your credit score is. It can affect everything from your ability to get a job, secure a house, and even get a loan. Today, we will talk about your credit report, common ways debt collectors try to falsify the information it contains, what your rights against them are, and most importantly, we will tell you how to protect your credit score from debt collectors and credit reporting agencies.
How the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) Works
The Fair Credit Reporting Act is the primary federal law that governs the collection and reporting of credit information about consumers. Its rules cover how a consumer’s credit information is obtained, how long it is kept, and how it is shared with others—including the consumers themselves. It is important to know the rules of the FCRA if you are going to know how to protect your credit score.
The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) and the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) are the two federal agencies charged with overseeing and enforcing the provisions of the act. Many states also have their own laws relating to credit reporting. The act in its entirety can be found in the United States Code Title 15, Section 1681.
It is also important to note that the FCRA is different from the FDCPA, the latter being the set of laws that oversee the fair collection of debts.
Common violations of the FCRA include:
• Old information being furnished as new information. Failure to update reports after the completion of bankruptcy is just one example. Agencies might also report old debts as new and report a financial account as active when it was closed by the consumer.
• Creditors giving reporting agencies inaccurate financial information about you.
• Reporting agencies mixing up one person’s information with another’s because of a similar (or same) last name or social security number.
• Agencies failing to follow guidelines for handling disputes.
• Pulling your report for an impermissible purpose. For instance, viewing a credit report to determine if you have assets before filing certain kinds of lawsuits.
• Failing to send you regular notifications about your credit report or score.
• Provision of information to unauthorized persons or businesses by credit reporting agencies.
If a Credit Reporting Agency or Debt Collection Agency is in violation of any of these rights, you have a right to sue them and get monetary compensation. Call a qualified lawyer at (877) 700-5790.
Your rights under the FCRA
• 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 to take another action against you – must tell you, and must 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 to avoid fair credit acts violations.
• You have the right to ask for your credit score
Credit scores are numerical summaries of your creditworthiness 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.
Equipped with a knowledge of these laws, you know how to protect your credit score better. Debt collection Agencies, Creditors, and Credit Reporting Agencies must respect your rights according to federal law.