The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) is the nation’s consumer protection agency. The FTC’s Bureau of Consumer Protection works for the consumer to prevent fraud, deception, and unfair business practices in the marketplace. These Laws are followed by the Credit Reporting Agencies such as Experian, Trans Union and Equifax as well as 11 others. You or your business also have State Laws that Govern laws pertaining to CREDIT , DEBT , As well as entities involving this industry.The Fair Credit Reporting Act:
The Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) promotes the accuracy, fairness, and privacy of information in the files of the nation’s consumer reporting companies. The FTC enforces the FCRA with respect to these companies. Recent amendments to the FCRA expand consumer rights and place additional requirements on consumer reporting companies. Businesses that provide information about consumers to consumer reporting companies, and businesses that use credit reports, also have new responsibilities under the law.
Here are answers to some of the commonly asked questions consumers have asked the FTC about consumer reports and consumer reporting companies:
Do I have the right to know what’s in my credit report?
Yes, you do have the right to know what’s in your report, but you have to ask for the information. The consumer reporting company must tell you everything in your report and give you a list of everyone who has requested your report within the past year—or the past two years if the requests were related to employment.
What type of information do consumer reporting companies collect and sell?
Consumer reporting companies collect and sell four basic types of information.
Identification and employment information: Your name, birth date, Social Security number, employer, and spouse’s name are noted routinely. The consumer reporting company also may provide information about your employment history, home ownership, income, and previous address if a creditor asks.
Payment history: Your accounts with different creditors are listed, showing how much credit has been extended and whether you’ve paid on time. Related events, such as the referral of an overdue account to a collection agency may also be noted.
Inquiries: Consumer reporting companies must maintain a record of all creditors who have asked for your credit history within the past year and a record of individuals or businesses that have asked for your credit history for employment purposes for the past two years.
Public record information: Events that are a matter of public record, such as bankruptcies, foreclosures, or tax liens, may appear in your report.
Is there a charge for my credit report?
Under the Free File Disclosure Rule of the Fair and Accurate Credit Transactions Act (FACT Act), each of the nationwide consumer reporting companies (Equifax, Experian, and Transunion) are required to provide you with a free copy of your credit report once every 12 months, if you ask for it.
How do I order my free report?
The three nationwide consumer reporting companies use one website, one toll-free telephone number, and one mailing address for consumers to request their free annual report. To order it, you can:
Click on annualcreditreport.com
Complete the Annual Credit Report Request Form found by clicking ftc.gov/credit.
You are permitted to request all 3 of your free annual reports at once. The law allows you to order one free copy from each of the nationwide consumer reporting companies every 12 months.