What Is The FCRA or Fair Credit Reporting Act?

A Summary of Your Rights Under the FCRA (Fair Credit Reporting Act)

  • Lemberg Law
  • What Is The FCRA or Fair Credit Reporting Act?


The Fair Credit Reporting Act or FCRA has written rules to protect you when you must share your information to get something you want such as a loan for house or car, life insurance, or a credit card. The Consumer Financial Reporting Bureau (CFRB), a federal agency, enforces these rules and can fine companies that break the rules. The rules apply to whoever requests the information, to the credit reporting agency that compiles your information and prepares the report, and to those who supply the information to the reporting agency. The FCRA rules place a heavy burden on those who want the report to use accurate information and to keep your information secure.

The Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) also regulates how credit information furnishers and credit reporting agencies handle financial information. Information furnishers include creditors and debt collection agencies. Credit reporting agencies include the “big three” – Equifax, Experian and TransUnion – as well as specialty consumer reporting agencies.

Credit reporting agencies are for-profit companies that collect our information and sell it to companies that evaluate our credit report information for purposes such as car purchases, credit cards, mortgages, and so forth. If you’ve ever requested a loan from a bank, your credit information was disseminated by one or all of those bureaus to the bank. Information can include late payments, tax liens, legal judgments, bankruptcies, and so on. It is important to check your credit report with each of the big three once a year to ensure the information they are reporting about you is correct.

Under the Fair Credit Reporting Act, credit bureaus must follow certain regulations:

  • Provide consumers with information about themselves and verify information if their accuracy is disputed. As a consumer, you are entitled to a free credit report once a year. You can obtain your free credit report via www.annualcreditreport.com
  • A credit bureau may not publish negative information about a consumer for more than seven years. Exceptions include tax liens, which are removed seven years after they are actually paid, and bankruptcies, which are removed after ten years.
  • Once you’ve disputed information in your credit report, a credit bureau has to investigate your claim.

One thing is clear, especially in light of the way credit has dried up in the wake of the Great Recession. Without very good credit, you can’t buy or rent a home, purchase or lease a car, or get credit cards to go about the business of living. Poor credit can also cost you employment and educational opportunities. Having a good credit score is more important than ever.

It’s one thing to have bad credit because you didn’t keep up your end of the bargain when you borrowed money. It’s another thing altogether when your credit report has false information and you can’t get it fixed. Considering that good credit is so important to the quality of our lives, it’s not just unjust; it’s why the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) was enacted into law. Understand that if false information is reported on your credit report, you can take legal action against debt collectors, agencies, or creditors that deny your requests to fix it.

The attorneys at Lemberg Law can help you exercise your rights under the Fair Credit Reporting Act. Simply complete the form to the right for a free case evaluation.

Find out more about your credit reporting and related rights:

What’s in Your Credit Report? – Learn how a credit report is a snapshot of your personal and financial information, as well as how credit scores are calculated and how long negative credit report information stays in your file.

Getting Your Credit Reports – Each of the major credit bureaus must provide you with a free annual copy of your credit report, but there are other circumstances where you’re entitled to additional free reports. Learn how to get your credit reports.

Checking Your Credit Reports – Learn about the six types of issues you should regularly monitor in your credit report.

Debt Collectors & Credit Reports – The Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) includes a number of requirements for debt collectors. Learn when debt collectors cross the line and how you can negotiate how paid debts appear on your credit report.

Credit Report Notification Requirements – Under the FCRA, you should be notified when there’s a problem with your credit report. Debt collection agencies don’t always play by the rules, though. Learn more about your notification rights.

Disputing an Item on Your Credit Report – Negative information on your credit report can impact many facets of your life. Learn how to dispute items on your credit report, contact credit bureaus, and contact information furnishers.

When You’re Hurt by Credit Report Errors – When a debt collection agency messes with your credit report, it can undermine your financial future. Learn how you can fight back using the FCRA.

Credit Fraud, Identity Theft & Credit Reports – If you’ve been the victim of identity theft or credit fraud, you need to take action. Learn what to do if your identity has been stolen.

Legal Use of Your Credit Report – Learn who can have access to your credit report and when they need your permission to do so.

Misuse of Your Credit Report – Discover how you can sue a business that misuses your credit report, a credit bureau, or a business that provides inaccurate information about you.

Credit Reports and Employment – Employers often pull credit reports on potential employees and employees who are up for a promotion. However, employers must abide by the FCRA.

If you or someone you know is the victim of credit report issues, complete our online form or call 475-277-2200. Lemberg Law’s legal team will evaluate your case at no cost to you, and will help you get the justice you deserve.


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