Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA)
Credit reporting is something that we don’t often consider, but that has a tremendous impact on our daily lives in the modern age. Almost everything from access to mortgages and lines of credit to background checks for employment are affected by a complex and confusing score that is often dependent upon the limited information of people who have never interacted with the person they are reporting on, nor verified the accuracy of the information they are posting. In today’s world, a false report or careless error by a consumer reporting agency employee can ruin an innocent person’s creditworthiness, and even their reputation and livelihood.
The Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) governs consumer reporting agencies, and regulates how the personal information of consumers is used and reported. The FCRA empowers consumers to protect their creditworthiness by requiring consumer reporting agencies to provide individuals with their credit file following a valid request. The FCRA further protects consumers by limiting access to their information, including requiring consumer consent to disclose that consumer’s credit information to a potential employer. Most importantly, the FCRA requires consumer reporting agencies to investigate disputed information, and correct or delete inaccurate information.