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Credit and Your Consumer Rights

Good credit rating is very important. Businesses inspect your credit history when they evaluate your applications for credit, insurance, employment, and even leases. Sometimes, things happen that can cause credit problems: a temporary loss of income, an illness, even a computer error. Solving credit problems may take time and patience, but it doesn’t have to be an ordeal.

The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) enforces credit laws that protect your right to obtain, use, and maintain credit. These laws do not guarantee that everyone will receive credit. Instead, credit laws protect your rights by requiring businesses to give all consumers a fair and equal opportunity to receive credit and to resolve disputes over credit errors. This explains your rights under these laws and offers practical tips to help you solve credit problems.

Your Credit Report Your credit payment history is recorded in a file or report. These files or reports are maintained and sold by "consumer reporting agencies" (CRAs). One type of CRA is commonly known as a credit bureau. You have a credit record on file at a credit bureau if you have ever applied for a credit or charge account, a personal loan, insurance, or a job. The credit record contains details of your income, debts, and credit payment history. And also indicates whether you have been sued, arrested, or have filed for bankruptcy. The Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) is designed to help ensure that CRAs furnish correct and complete information to businesses to use when evaluating your application.

Your rights 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 of the information in your file at the time of your request.
-You have the right to know the name of anyone whoever received your credit report in the last year for most purposes.
-Any company that denies your application must supply the name and address of the CRA they contacted, provided the denial was based on information given by the CRA.
-You have the right to a free copy of your credit report when your application is denied because of information supplied by the CRA. Your request must be made within 60 days of receiving your denial notice.
-You have a right to add a summary explanation to your credit report if your dispute is not resolved to your satisfaction.