Congress passed the Fair Credit Reporting Act or FCRA primarily to regulate the activities of consumer reporting agencies or CRAs. (CRAs are also commonly referred to as “credit bureaus” and “credit reporting agencies”). But, the FCRA also regulates those who furnish information to the CRAs, for example banks, mortgage companies, and collection agencies, and those who have access to your private credit information.
Most Arizona consumers first get interested in their credit reports when they are trying to buy a home or a car, and find that there are inaccurate or derogatory items on their report. These inaccuracies typically are preventing them from getting a favorable interest rate, or even from getting any credit at all.
That’s where the FCRA comes in.
The FCRA requires that your credit reports be accurate and complete, and reflect your true credit history.
To ensure that your credit report is accurate and complete, the FCRA requires that the consumer reporting agencies:
- have systems in place to assure the maximum possible accuracy
- make sure that any dispute of inaccurate or incomplete information is properly investigated, corrected and / or deleted
- have measures in place to prevent identity theft
- provide victims of identity theft with tools to remedy the harms by caused by such theft
In situations where the FCRA has been violated, Arizona consumers have the right to pursue civil penalties and monetary damages against the CRA(s), the furnisher, or both.
There are three major national consumer reporting agencies which gather credit and other information on almost every adult in the United States. These include Experian, Equifax, and Trans Union. But there are also many other agencies which qualify as CRAs under the FCRA. They too must comply with its requirements.