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Credit Repair Advice: The Fair Credit Reporting Act and Your Legal Rights

The Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) entitles you to repair your own credit report. You have a legal right to dispute any information you find on your credit report. Enacted in 1971, the FCRA stipulates that the credit bureaus investigate all consumer disputes if they challenge credit information on their credit reports. As per this Act, the credit bureaus must complete the investigations within a 30-day period. Any information that cannot be verified or is found to be inaccurate must be deleted immediately.

Your Rights Under the FCRA

If your application for credit, employment, or insurance is rejected, you have a right under the FCRA to ask, within 60 days of the refusal, for a free credit report. The company rejecting your application must disclose which credit reporting company they used for getting your credit scores. Normally, the three major nationwide credit companies used are - Experian, TransUnion, and Equifax.

It is reported that nearly 79% of all credit reports contain some error or other inaccurate information. It is mandatory, under the FCRA, for the credit reporting companies to correct the incorrect information. Here are some steps to take to go about making the corrections:

1. Write to the credit reporting company about the incorrect and inaccurate information. 2. Send copies of documents that will verify your claims. 3. Clearly, and in detail, itemize each inaccuracy, explaining why it is wrong. 4. Include a copy of the credit report in question, highlighting the disputed statements.5. Ask to have the inaccurate and incorrect information removed from your credit report.6. Keep copies of all documents you sent to the credit reporting company.

The credit reporting company is obliged under the FCRA to forward the documents you supplied in support of your case, to whichever company or organization provided the initial disputed information. This organization must investigate and report back to the credit reporting company. If the information is found to be inaccurate, it must be corrected and also reported to the three major credit bureaus.

It is mandatory under the FCRA that the credit report agency must send the results to you, in writing, along with a free copy of your credit report. You can also ask the credit reporting company to send a copy of your corrected report to all those who had asked for it in the last six months.

The Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) was created to ensure that your individual rights are protected and that everyone has the same opportunity to correct any inaccurate credit information on their report. When used correctly, this legal right can make a difference in your financial future.

About the Author

Sherry Frewerd publishes How to Consolidate Credit Debt where you can find free information to help you repair and improve your credit history and reduce credit debt.

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