Fair Credit Reporting Act


Practice Area

The Fair Credit Reporting Act: How it Aligns with Consumer Protection

The Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) was enacted to ensure the privacy and fairness of consumer information in credit bureau files. The FCRA protects you by giving you access to information in your credit file, the ability to request access to all information that a consumer reporting agency has about you, and the right to freeze your credit report and keep you informed on other credit-related issues. As a consumer, you have rights under the FCRA, including: 

  • The right to know if any information is being used against you 
  • The right to request any personal information found in the files of a consumer reporting agency 
  • The right to ask a consumer reporting agency about your credit score
  • The right to dispute any information that is inaccurate or incomplete 
  • The right to seek damages from a consumer reporting agency that violates the FCRA

So, how does the FCRA align with consumer protection laws? Consumer protection laws were established to discourage businesses from engaging in fraudulent behavior or other unfair/deceptive practices. Our consumer attorneys are constantly monitoring changes in consumer law to develop cutting-edge legal strategies to ensure the successful resolution of our clients’ consumer issues. Consumer issues regularly encountered by our clients include the following:

  • Credit Reporting Errors
  • Improper Employment or Housing Background Checks
  • Identity Theft
  • Telemarketing Harassment
  • Bankruptcy Related Consumer Issues
  • Data Breaches

Enforcing consumer protection laws requires companies to disclose detailed information about products, provide rental agreements and contracts while traveling, and keep you safe from identity theft while using your credit and debit cards. 

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What Would be Considered a Violation of The Fair Credit Reporting Act?

In the United States, there are state and federal laws designed to protect you as the consumer from companies that could take advantage of you. And while we like to believe that these regulations are followed, that’s not always the case.  

Businesses and corporations aren’t above cutting corners in order to maximize their profits and, in doing so, violating consumer protection by:  

  • Selling and marketing products that consumers are led to believe are safe but aren’t. 
  • Keeping product information away from the consumer or providing inaccurate information about a product. 
  • Hindering consumers to choose between competing goods and services. 
  • Trying to stop a consumer from reporting inconsistencies or malfunctions with a product or service. 
  • Not protecting the bank or card information of the consumer. 
  • Providing rental and contractual agreements for travelers and then going back on those agreements. 

What Happens if My Rights are Violated Under The Fair Credit Reporting Act?

Proceeding with a consumer complaint against the business, corporation, or retailer who has caused the problem is a good place to start. If you have tried to make a complaint and have been brushed off, filing a formal complaint with the appropriate government agency or consumer organization is the next step. 

Should I Hire a Fair Credit Reporting Act Lawyer?

It can be hard to know what to do if your rights have been violated, especially since there are different nuances to each consumer law and violation. Depending on how you’ve been wronged, finding the right attorney can seem like a daunting task. At Mizrahi Kroub, we’re experienced in the legal process that helps many consumers seek justice and compensation. 

Our attorneys have successfully protected the rights of over 5,000 consumers under the Fair Credit Reporting Act, the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act, the Telephone Consumer Protection Act, the Fair Credit Billing Act, and the Truth in Lending Act. Let us help you next.


Frequently Asked Questions about the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA)

The Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) is a federal law enacted to protect consumers from the unauthorized use of their credit reports. Its purpose is to set rules and standards for credit reporting agencies and other companies that might use consumers' credit information. This information is used to decide whether a consumer is eligible for a loan or credit card. 

What Rights Do You Have Under The FCRA? 

As a consumer, you have the right to request a copy of your credit report from each of the three major credit reporting agencies once every 12 months. This service is free; you can request your report online, by phone, or by mail. 

If you're concerned about the potential of identity theft or you want to keep your credit information private, you are allowed to freeze your credit report. This prevents lenders from accessing your credit information without your permission. 

The FCRA also gives you the right to place a "freeze" on your credit report, which prevents lenders and other companies from accessing your credit information without your permission. This can be helpful if you are concerned about identity theft or want to control who can see your credit information.

Can I Access My Credit Report? 

Yes, you can access your credit report once every 12 months for free. However, this is optional by law, and you should be cautious about paying for additional credit reports unless you have a good reason to do so. 

If you're applying for a loan or mortgage, you might be required to provide a recent credit report to your lender. In this situation, you might be required to pay a fee to access your credit report if you've already accessed your credit report in the last 12 months.

Is There a Difference Between a Credit Report and a Credit Score? 

Credit reporting agencies like Experian, TransUnion, and Equifax compile your credit report. These agencies collect information from your creditors and use it to create a comprehensive credit history record. Your credit report includes information about your credit accounts, such as the type of account, the credit limit, and the current balance. It also includes details about your payment history, such as whether you have made your payments on time and whether you have any outstanding balances or delinquent accounts.

Lenders and other companies use your credit score to evaluate your creditworthiness and decide whether to approve your credit applications. 

What Information Goes into My Credit Report? 

 The following items are typically accounted for in your credit report:  

  • Personal information 
  • Credit accounts
  • Public records 
  • Loan or credit card inquiries 

Lenders will use this information to determine whether or not you should be approved for loans or additional credit. 

What Should I Do If My Credit Report Has an Error?

You can always dispute any information on your credit report that you deem inaccurate or incomplete. If you find errors in your report, you can dispute them with the help of an attorney. 

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Helpful Resources

February 24, 2023

How to Fix Errors on Your Credit Report

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If you have outdated information on your credit report, it is important to take appropriate steps to correct the mistakes.

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December 5, 2022

What Damages Can Be Recovered After a Fair Credit Reporting Act Violation?

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