Many Illinois consumers struggle with their financial obligations from time to time. If you’re like many people, you have debt or need time to rebuild your credit. Whatever the case, the Fair Credit Reporting Act is there to protect you..
Understanding the FCRA
The Fair Credit Reporting Act is a federal law that regulates the credit reporting industry so that credit agencies treat all consumers fairly regardless of whether they have credit issues. It safeguards you from misinformation to ensure that all information on credit reports is accurate.
Your rights and protections under the FCRA
Per the FCRA, you have the right to access your credit report. Although you can obtain paid copies through the three major credit bureaus, TransUnion, Experian and Equifax, you can also receive one free copy annually from one source. If you request your credit report, you have the right to receive it within 15 days.
If you view a copy of your credit report and see errors, the FCRA gives you the right to report them to the credit bureau so they can be removed. If the discrepancy isn’t removed, you can add a statement to your credit file that explains the issue.
The FCRA protects you from unsolicited credit offers; if you wish to limit those offers, you can opt out. It also gives you the right to access your credit score with all three of the major credit bureaus.
Some consumers get harassed by collection agencies and creditors trying to make good on the debt they owe. However, if a collector or creditor persists in contacting a consumer after they have asked them to stop, it’s illegal; the FCRA gives consumers the right to seek damages in court in such a situation.