Annual Credit Reports: Know Your Rights.


Jenny, a 23-year-old, wrecked the car she had throughout high school and college. Buying a new car will be her first big purchase as an adult. Jenny does her research and settles on the perfect car for her, a "lil' beauty." However, Jenny is devestated to discover that her credit score is too low to qualify for the advertised interest rate. Jenny can't afford the car... What could Jenny have done differently? Is there a happy ending in store for Jenny? Watch our video to find out.

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.

"Other" Consumer Reports: What You Should Know about "Specialty" Reports


Fact Sheet 6b"Other" Consumer Reports:
What You Should Know about "Specialty" Reports

Despite its name, the Fair Credit Reporting Act covers a lot more than simply credit reports. Credit reports are just one of a broader category of consumer reports covered by the FCRA. Consumer reports can also include reports about you made to employers, insurance companies, banks, and landlords. In recent years, many new companies have sprouted, compiling reports specifically targeted at employers, insurers, and landlords. The companies that compile reports for targeted users are “consumer reporting agencies” under the FCRA, just like the three national credit bureaus: Experian, TransUnion, and Equifax.

Companies that compile reports on consumers for other than credit have been designated by Congress as “nationwide specialty consumer reporting agencies.” These agencies compile reports about much more than just your credit history. Here are a few examples of the types of reports that they compile:

  • Medical conditions (for example, the Medical Information Bureau (MIB) report)
  • Residential or tenant history and evictions (for example, the Unlawful Detainer (UD) Registry)
  • Check writing history (for example ChexSystems)
  • Employment background checks
  • Homeowner and auto insurance claims (for example, CLUE reports)

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.

Coping with Identity Theft: Reducing the Risk of Fraud


Fact Sheet 17Coping with Identity Theft:
Reducing the Risk of Fraud

Frequently Asked Questions about Debt Collection


Fact Sheet 27aFrequently Asked Questions about Debt Collection

A debt collector keeps calling for someone I do not know - how can I make them stop calling? Can a debt collector reveal information about my debt to my family, friends or boss? I have bad credit and am considering paying a company to fix it - will this work?

Find answers to these and many more questions in our Frequently Asked Questions about Debt Collections. Find out what to do about debts older than 7 years, what to do if a debt collector violates your rights and how to deal with a debt collector if you are the victim of identity theft. Our guide covers the questions we hear most frequently from consumers dealing with collection agenciesrs.

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.

Sample Dispute Letter to Credit Reporting Agencies


Sample letter disputing inaccurate information on a credit report.

 

Date

Your Name
Mailing Address
City, State, Zip

Re: Disputing Inaccuracies on My Credit Report

YouTube Video on Annual Credit Reports


We are excited to debut our latest YouTube video, Annual Credit Reports: Know Your Rights. The video demonstrates the importance of regularly checking your credit report.

The 4-minute film opens with 23-year-old Jenny saying goodbye to the car she had throughout high school and college. Buying a new car will be her first big purchase as an adult. Jenny does her research and settles on the perfect car for her, a "lil' beauty." However, Jenny is devastated to discover that her credit score is too low to qualify for the advertised interest rate. Jenny can't afford the car...

What could Jenny have done differently? Is there a happy ending in store for Jenny? Watch the video to find out. If you like it, we hope you will share it with friends and family.

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