CREDIT MANUAL -- PAGE 6
Laws & Your Rights
According to the Federal Fair Credit Reporting Act (see Appendix
I), you have the
Many people have never reviewed their Credit Profiles and
as a result does not know what their financial stability appears
to potential creditors. If you have never seen your Credit Profile
then, immediately request a copy from your local Credit Bureau.
The address or phone number of local Credit Bureaus are listed
in the telephone directory. It is necessary for you to send them
a signed letter requesting a copy of your Credit Report. The report
is Free if you have been denied credit within the last 60 days;
if not you can expect to pay from $5.00 - $15.00 for it. However,
you should call the credit bureau for exact instructions on how
to order a copy of your report.
It is estimated that 7 - 10 Credit Profiles contain inaccurate
information. This can be as trivial as an incorrect address or
it could include a Bankruptcy by another individual. No matter
what the case, you should make sure your Credit Profile is as
accurate as possible and that it does not include any information
belonging to another individual.
Credit File-Common Errors
InAccurate or Negative Information such as delinquency or collection
If your Credit Profile contains Incorrect, Negative Information
then you have the right to have all potential creditors and employers
notified of the errors that have been corrected.
Adding your Side of the Story is an ideal method to let potential
creditors know why these negative accounts are on your Credit
Profile. Use this opportunity to tell your side of the story and
explain why you have negative entries on your Credit Profile as
it relates to specific entries. Situations such sickness, and
etc., should be noted; even if you file a Consumer Dispute Form
and the Credit Bureau determines, by requesting verification from
the creditor, that the information is correct.
Your FCRA right to add a statement to your file applies only
in cases where you are disputing the accuracy of the information
in your file. Although it does not extend to situations where
you are explaining the circumstances that led to the credit problems;
it will not hurt to include the entire story. If they refuse to
add the entire story then modify it to address only the negative
The credit bureau may limit
your statement to 100 words or less, but if it does so, they must
help you summarize it. Sometimes the credit bureau will summarize
your statement without your consent. You may file a complaint
and ask that your own words be used if you are dissatisfied with
their summarization. When writing your statement, try to be factual,
brief and clear. If you have evidence to support your version
of the dispute, then be sure to mention that it is available.
Derogatory information may remain on your Credit Profile for
7 years, 10 years in the case of bankruptcy. It is important to
determine the exact length of time derogatory information has
remained on your report. Some Credit Bureaus do not promptly
remove expired negative information and some collection agencies
can use the threat of permanently manipulating the reporting
dates so the information remains indefinitely.
You determine who reviews your credit profile each and every
time you sign a credit application or rental agreement denoting
that your credit profile will be reviewed. Special consideration
should be given when allowing access to your credit profile. You
can be denied credit if there are too many inquires into your
If you are denied credit, the rejecting company is required
by law to send you a letter stating why you were refused credit.
Often, this letter is very general, so it is up to you to research
You have the right to receive the same good credit rating
as a former spouse, because the law recognizes that you and your
spouse are responsible for marital issues.
After moving to another city, you can have your credit report
transferred by contacting the credit bureaus serving your area
requesting them to update your new credit profile by contacting
the credit bureau in the original location.
If you have exhausted all available avenues attempting to
resolve credit inaccuracies, then you have a right to take the
credit bureau to court.
If you have accounts that do not appear on your credit bureau
and they are detrimental to your overall credit profile, then
you have the right to not report this information or to simply
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