Fair Credit Reporting Act Guidelines:
The federal Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) is a law which regulates the activities of credit reporting bureaus. Private credit reporting bureaus, such as TRW Information Services, Equifax Credit Information Services and TransUnion Credit Information Company, maintain records of financial payment histories, public record data (such as unlawful detainer actions taken against you, or money judgments entered against you), along with personal identification information. Credit reporting bureaus sell the information that they have to creditors so that they can make decisions as to whether or not credit should be offered to you.
The FCRA punishes unauthorized persons who obtain credit reports, as well as employees of credit reporting bureaus who furnish credit reports to unauthorized persons. The FTC also places responsibilities on those who supply the reporting bureaus with the initial information.
If the information about you from a credit reporting bureau is all good, you need not worry about it - you should be able to obtain credit to purchase goods and services, rent an apartment, obtain a home mortgage loan, apply for insurance, and even obtain employment.
However, the information on file with credit reporting bureaus may be used against you, to deny you credit, employment, or even the ability to rent an apartment. It is a good idea to check your credit reports on an annual basis - so that you know what information is being made available to creditors before it is disclosed to them. Credit reporting bureaus are allowed to charge you a reasonable fee to obtain a copy of your credit report. If credit has been denied to you based upon information obtained from a credit reporting bureau, the creditor must provide you with the credit reporting bureaus' name and address. If you request (by telephone, mail or in person) a copy of your credit report from such credit reporting bureau within thirty days of being denied credit, the credit reporting bureau must send your credit report to you for free, including the names of creditors who have provided the information to the bureau, and the names of everyone who has received a credit report on you in the last six months, or an employment report in the last two years.
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