Fair Credit Reporting Act
What is the Fair Credit Reporting Act?
The federal Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) promotes the accuracy, fairness, and privacy of information in the files of consumer reporting agencies. There are many types of consumer reporting agencies, including credit bureaus and specialty agencies (such as agencies that sell information about check writing histories, medical records, and rental history records).
Summary of Rights
Here is a summary of your major rights under FCRA. For more information, including information about additional rights, go to www.consumerfinance.gov/learnmore or write to: Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, 1700 G Street N.W., Washington, DC 20552.
In addition, all consumers are entitled to one free disclosure every 12 months upon request from each nationwide credit bureau and from nationwide specialty consumer reporting agencies. See www.consumerfinance.gov/learnmore for additional information.
CONSUMERS HAVE THE RIGHT TO OBTAIN A SECURITY FREEZE
You have a right to place a “security freeze” on your credit report, which will prohibit a consumer reporting agency from releasing information in your credit report without your express authorization. The security freeze is designed to prevent credit, loans, and services from being approved in your name without your consent. However, you should be aware that using a security freeze to take control over who gets access to the personal and financial information in your credit report may delay, interfere with, or prohibit the timely approval of any subsequent request or application you make regarding a new loan, credit, mortgage, or any other account involving the extension of credit.
As an alternative to a security freeze, you have the right to place an initial or extended fraud alert on your credit file at no cost. An initial fraud alert is a one-year alert that is placed on a consumer’s credit file. Upon seeing a fraud alert display on a consumer’s credit file, a business is required to take steps to verify the consumer’s identity before extending new credit. If you are a victim of identity theft, you are entitled to an extended fraud alert, which is a fraud alert lasting seven years.
A security freeze does not apply to a person or entity, or its affiliates, or collection agencies acting on behalf of the person or entity, with which you have an existing account that requests information in your credit report for the purposes of reviewing or collecting the account. Reviewing the account includes activities related to account maintenance, monitoring, credit line increases, and account upgrades and enhancements.
States may enforce the FCRA, and many states have their own consumer reporting laws. In some cases, you may have more rights under state law. For more information, contact your state or local consumer protection agency or your state attorney general. For information about your federal rights, contact:
TYPE OF BUSINESS:
1.a. Banks, savings associations, and credit unions with total assets of over $10 billion and their affiliates
b. Such affiliates that are not banks, savings associations, or credit unions also should list, in addition to the CFPB:
a. Consumer Financial Protection Bureau
1700 G Street, N.W.
Washington, DC 20552
b. Federal Trade Commission
Consumer Response Center
600 Pennsylvania Avenue, N.W.
Washington, DC 20580
2. To the extent not included in item 1 above:
a. National banks, federal savings associations, and federal branches and federal agencies of foreign banks
b. State member banks, branches and agencies of foreign banks (other than federal branches, federal agencies, and Insured State Branches of Foreign Banks), commercial lending companies owned or controlled by foreign banks, and organizations operating under Section 25 or 25A of the Federal Reserve Act
c. Nonmember Insured Banks, Insured State Branches of Foreign Banks, and Insured State Savings Associations
d. Federal Credit Unions
a. Office of the Comptroller of the Currency
Customer Assistance Group
1301 McKinney Street, Suite 3450
Houston, TX 77010-9050
b. Federal Reserve Consumer Help Center
P.O. Box 1200
Minneapolis, MN 55480
c. FDIC Consumer Response Center
1100 Walnut Street, Box #11
Kansas City, MO 64106
d. National Credit Union Administration
Office of Consumer Financial Protection (OCFP)
Division of Consumer Compliance Policy and Outreach
1775 Duke Street
Alexandria, VA 22314
3. Air Carriers
Asst. General Counsel for Aviation Enforcement & Proceedings
Aviation Consumer Protection Division
Department of Transportation
1200 New Jersey Avenue, S.E.
Washington, DC 20590
4. Creditors Subject to the Surface Transportation Board
Office of Proceedings, Surface Transportation Board
395 E Street, S.W.
Washington, DC 20423
5. Creditors Subject to the Packers and Stockyards Act, 1921
Nearest Packers and Stockyards Administration area supervisor
6. Small Business Investment Companies
Associate Deputy Administrator for Capital Access
United States Small Business Administration
409 Third Street, S.W., Suite 8200
Washington, DC 20416
7. Brokers and Dealers
U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission
100 F Street, N.E.
Washington, DC 20549
8. Federal Land Banks, Federal Land Bank Associations, Federal Intermediate Credit Banks, and Production Credit Associations
Farm Credit Administration
1501 Farm Credit Drive
McLean, VA 22102-5090
9. Retailers, Finance Companies, and All Other Creditors Not Listed Above
Federal Trade Commission
Washington, DC 20580
The Fair Credit Reporting Act, or FCRA, regulates how consumer reporting agencies and others handle certain information about consumers.
FCRA impacts those who provide information about consumers, such as Equifax. It also impacts those who receive information about consumers like you, a “verifier,” or user of Equifax Verification Services.
Here are two very important obligations:
We must confirm your identity.
Before you use Equifax Verification Services, your agency must go through a credentialing process to establish that you have the right to receive information. Each time you use Equifax Verification Services, you must go through a secure login process that may require you to answer security questions to prove your identity.
You must certify your Permissible Purpose.
All users of the system must certify a permissible purpose under the FCRA to obtain Equifax Verification Services.
You must review the Terms and Conditions of the service for complete details about your obligations when using Equifax Verification Services.
Learn more about FCRA at the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau website.