The Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) is a federal law that governs how a credit reporting agency (CRA) handles your credit information. It is designed to protect the integrity and privacy of your credit information. The FCRA requires creditreporting agencies–and the entities that report your credit information to them and others–to ensure that your information is fair and accurate, and kept private. The FCRA protects your right to access and correct any inaccuracies in yourcredit report and provides you with remedies if a credit reporting agency or information furnisher violates your rights.
For articles on your credit report, credit score, cleaning up your credit report, and more, see Nolo’s Credit Repair topic area.
Who/What is a CRA?
A CRA is any entity that collects and furnishes credit information about you. A common type of CRA is a credit bureau, such as Transunion, Equifax or Experian. A CRA also includes a company or person who collects and sells your credit information (often in the form of background checks) to landlords, employers, or anyone else who makes a credit decision about you.
Obligations of a CRA
A CRA is obligated to :
Who/What is an Information Supplier?
An “information supplier” is any entity that submits your credit information to a CRA. Usually, that means your creditor. But it could also mean any other third party that you have even a loose credit relationship with, such as a government entity to whom you owe taxes, costs, or fines.
Obligations of an Information Supplier
Under the FCRA, your creditor and any other information supplier :
Users of Credit Information
In addition to CRAs and your creditors, anyone who uses your credit information for employment, credit, or insurance purposes is covered by the FCRA. They must :
If any of these three types of entities (CRA, information supplier, or user) violates the rules in the Fair Credit Reporting Act, you may be able to sue them in state or federal court for damages. If you are in the military, you might have additional protections and remedies. Your state’s laws may also offer additional relief and remedies. For more information, visit the Federal Trade Commission’s section on the FCRA at www.ftc.gov/os/statutes/fcrajump.shtm.