How Private Is My Credit Report?


Fact Sheet 6How Private Is My Credit Report?

Credit reports are a gold mine of information about consumers. They contain Social Security number, date of birth, current and previous addresses, telephone number (including unlisted numbers), credit payment status, employment, even legal information.

Facts on FACTA, the Fair and Accurate Credit Transactions Act


Fact Sheet 6aFacts on FACTA, the Fair and Accurate Credit Transactions Act

The Fair and Accurate Credit Transaction Act of 2003 (FACTA) added new sections to the federal Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA, 15 U.S.C. 1681 et seq.), intended primarily to help consumers fight the growing crime of identity theft. Accuracy, privacy, limits on information sharing, and new consumer rights to disclosure are included in FACTA. (Pub. L. 108-159, 111 Stat. 1952)

This is all good news for consumers. However, consumers came out on the losing end when Congress virtually barred states from adopting stronger laws. Read our Fact Sheet for a summary and update of FACTA provisions.

Your Credit Score: How It All Adds Up


Fact Sheet 6cYour Credit Score:
How It All Adds Up

For a three-digit number, your credit score packs a big wallop. A low score can thrust you into the financial abyss of the sub-prime market, costing you thousands of dollars in added interest over the life of a car loan or mortgage. Consumers who have a very low score --or no score at all-- may not get credit on any terms.

A quick glance at this single bit of information gives creditors all they feel they need to make judgments about whether you will repay a car loan, mortgage or credit card debt. Your score is a snapshot of your credit report, giving creditors instant clues about how you pay your bills, how you've handled credit over the years and even whether financial troubles have led you into the courts.

Identity Theft Monitoring Services


Fact Sheet 33Identity Theft Monitoring Services

Hardly a day goes by without hearing about someone becoming a victim of identity theft or learning about another data breach. The exposure of Social Security numbers (SSNs) and other personal information can increase consumers’ susceptibility to identity theft. Privacy Rights Clearinghouse’s “Chronology of Data Breaches” documents over 230 million records that have been compromised since January 2005. www.privacyrights.org/ar/ChronDataBreaches.htm

Faced with these alarming statistics, many consumers have turned to identity theft or credit monitoring services for protection. Identity theft monitoring services may sound like a good way to protect your good credit and your good name. However, many of these services are overpriced and are not worth the money that they cost.

Comments to FTC: Collection of a Deceased Person's Debt


On October 8, 2010, the FTC announced a policy regarding debt collectors’ communications with third parties regarding a decedent’s debt. In this, the FTC expands the numbers of individuals a collector may contact when the debtor is deceased. We urge the Commission to reconsider this policy or at a minimum to offer guidance for individuals who may be contacted by a collector about a deceased consumer’s debt. We further urge the Commission to reconsider its policy regarding no enforcement for deceased debtor contacts.

What You Should Know About Credit Repair Companies


If you’re losing sleep over bad credit, ads promising a quick fix can seem like a dream come true. But, hook up with the wrong company and your dreams of clean credit can quickly turn into a living nightmare.

While the economy has faltered in recent years, credit repair companies have flourished. As is often the case, hard times for consumers create opportunities for scammers. An unscrupulous credit repair company may collect upfront fees, may make you pay for things you can get for free or may even persuade you to break the law.

If you are knee-deep in debt and thinking about a credit repair service, read out guide to find out how to recognize a dishonest credit repair service.

Identity Theft Red Flags and Address Discrepancies under the Fair and Accurate Credit Transactions Act of 2003


The detection of red flags and the need to reconcile address discrepancies are among the most important anti-identity theft measures included in FACTA. Effective business policies and practices that spot attempted and actual identity theft early have great potential for relieving this national crime wave. This was the promise and Congress’ intent when it directed the Agencies to adopt Red Flag Regulations along with procedures to reconcile address discrepancies in credit reports.

New Look for Prescreened Credit and Insurance Offers


tarting August 1, 2005, unsolicited offers for credit or insurance that are based on information in your credit report should be easier to spot.

New regulations adopted by the Federal Trade Commission now require notices to prominently display the toll free number (1-888-5OPTOUT or 1-888-567-8688) to opt-out. Now, this number, along with a statement that you can stop the unsolicited offers, must appear - in at least 12-point type - on the first page of the offer.

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