CFPB Updates “Summary of Your Rights Under the Fair Credit Reporting Act”

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The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) has released an updated “Summary of Your Rights Under the Fair Credit Reporting Act†to educate consumers on their rights relating to credit reports.

“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 FCRA. For more information, including
information about additional rights, go to or write
to: Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, 1700 G Street NW, Washington, DC 20552.

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

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
disclosureâ€). 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:

  • a person has taken adverse action against you because of information in your
    credit report;
  • you are the victim of identity theft and place a fraud alert in your file;
  • your file contains inaccurate information as a result of fraud;
  • you are on public assistance;
  • you are unemployed but expect to apply for employment within 60 days.
    In addition, all consumers are entitled to one free disclosure every 12 months upon
    request from each nationwide credit bureau and from nationwide specialty consumer
    reporting agencies. See for additional

You have the right to ask for a credit score. Credit scores are numerical summaries of
your credit-worthiness based on information from credit bureaus. You may request a
credit score from consumer reporting agencies that create scores or distribute scores used
in residential real property loans, but you will have to pay for it. In some mortgage
transactions, you will receive credit score information for free from the mortgage lender.

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 for an explanation of dispute procedures.

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 as accurate.

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 employers. A 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 limit “prescreened†offers of credit and insurance you get based on
information in your credit report. Unsolicited “prescreened†offers for credit and
insurance must include a toll-free phone number you can call if you choose to remove
your name and address from the lists these offers are based on. You may opt out with the
nationwide credit bureaus at 1-888-567-8688.

The following FCRA right applies with respect to nationwide consumer reporting


  • You have a right to place a “security freeze†on your credit report, which will
    prohibit a consumer reporting agency from releasing information in your credit
    report without your express authorization. The security freeze is designed to prevent
    credit, loans, and services from being approved in your name without your consent.
    However, you should be aware that using a security freeze to take control over who gets
    access to the personal and financial information in your credit report may delay, interfere
    with, or prohibit the timely approval of any subsequent request or application you make
    regarding a new loan, credit, mortgage, or any other account involving the extension of
  • As an alternative to a security freeze, you have the right to place an initial or extended
    fraud alert on your credit file at no cost. An initial fraud alert is a 1-year alert that is
    placed on a consumer’s credit file. Upon seeing a fraud alert display on a consumer’s
    credit file, a business is required to take steps to verify the consumer’s identity before
    extending new credit. If you are a victim of identity theft, you are entitled to an extended
    fraud alert, which is a fraud alert lasting 7 years.
  • A security freeze does not apply to a person or entity, or its affiliates, or collection
    agencies acting on behalf of the person or entity, with which you have an existing
    account that requests information in your credit report for the purposes of reviewing or
    collecting the account. Reviewing the account includes activities related to account
    maintenance, monitoring, credit line increases, and account upgrades and enhancements.
  • 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

States may enforce the FCRA, and many states have their own consumer reporting laws.
In some cases, you may have more rights under state law. For more information, contact
your state or local consumer protection agency or your state Attorney General.”

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