Credit Report Disputes
Your credit report contains information about where you live, how you pay your bills, and whether you’ve been sued, been arrested, or filed for bankruptcy. Credit reporting companies sell the information in your report to businesses that use it to evaluate your applications for credit, insurance, employment, or renting a home. The federal Fair Credit Reporting Act (“FCRA”) promotes the accuracy and privacy of information in the files of the nation’s credit reporting companies.
Under the Fair Credit Reporting Act:
- You have the right to receive a copy of your credit report. The copy of your report must contain all the information in your file at the time of your request. For details, see Your Access to Free Credit Reports. Under federal law, you’re also entitled to a free report if a company takes adverse action against you, like denying your application for credit, insurance, or employment, and you ask for your report within 60 days of receiving notice of the action. The notice will give you the name, address, and phone number of the credit reporting company. You’re also entitled to one free report a year if you’re unemployed and plan to look for a job within 60 days; if you’re on welfare; or if your report is inaccurate because of fraud, including identity theft. Otherwise, a credit reporting company may charge you up to $9.50 for another copy of your report within a 12-month period.
- You have the right to know who asked for your report within the past year – two years for employment related requests.
- If a company denies your application, you have the right to the name and address of the credit reporting company they contacted, provided the denial was based on information given by the credit reporting company.
- If you question the accuracy or completeness of information in your report, you have the right to file a dispute with the credit reporting company and the information provider (that is, the person, company, or organization that provided information about you to the credit reporting company). Both the credit reporting company and the information provider are obligated to investigate your claim, and responsible for correcting inaccurate or incomplete information in your report. For details, see How to Dispute Credit Report Errors.
- You have a right to add a summary explanation to your credit report if your dispute is not resolved to your satisfaction. You also can ask the credit reporting company to provide your statement to anyone who received a copy of your report in the recent past. You can expect to pay a fee for this service.