A Summary of Your Rights Under the Fair Credit Reporting Act
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.ftc.gov/credit or write to:
600 Pennsylvania Ave. N.W.
Washington, D.C. 20580
• 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 adverse 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. In many cases, the
disclosure will be free. You are entitled to a free file disclosure if:
o a person has taken adverse action against you because of information in your credit
o you are the victim of identify theft and place a fraud alert in your file;
o your file contains inaccurate information as a result of fraud;
o you are on public assistance;
o you are unemployed but expect to apply for employment within 60 days.
In addition, all consumers will be entitled to one free disclosure every 12 months
upon request from each nationwide credit bureau and from nationwide specialty consumer
reporting agencies. See
www.ftc.gov/credit for additional information.
• 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.ftc.gov/credit for an explanation of
• 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
• 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 10 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 employersA 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
• You may opt-out with the nationwide credit bureaus at 1-888-5-OPTOUT (1-888-567-8688).
• 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.ftc.gov/credit.