Explaining the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA)

As of now, most people know that you are entitled to one detailed (and free) credit report a year so that you can know what your credit score is. But, did you know that there are also regulations as to what information is disseminated to your local financial services franchise and who is allowed to ask for it? Today we’re going to look at some of the regulations brought into place by that.

Who is regulated by these restrictions?

There are three credit companies that you can receive your annual credit report from: Transunion, Equifax, and Experian. There are also data collection companies who are allowed to access your data for purposes of gathering statistical data on spending habits and average credit scores.

Who can get my information?

Well, first off, someone off the street can’t get your credit score and such. The groups and people allowed to do so may include, but are not limited to:

·    Potential employers (with your written consent)

·    Potential landlords or realtors

·    Insurance companies

·    Companies or persons considering giving you a form of credit

·    Child support agencies

·    Government agencies

·    Anyone with a “legitimate business need”

What information can they get?

Based on the people who potentially want your information, you can probably surmise what they can get. Some things are restricted, but the following information has the possibility of being distributed upon a request of your credit report:

financial services franchise

·    Banking information, (cleared and bounced checks, overdraws, transfers, etc).

·    The amount of credit you have available and how much of that credit you have used

·    Past employment information

·    Medical bills and records (only financial)

·    Residential or tenant history

·    Tax liens

There’s a lot to know about this process, but understanding the FCRA can help you to protect yourself and any financial information that you may have.