You have a file out there on you. Even if you never have been arrested, or have been pulled over for a speeding ticket, and even if you never even got a detention in high school, there's a file out there on you. It contains almost everything out there on youwhether you've ever applied for a credit card, and how many times; how many personal loans you've taken out in your name; how well you pay off these debts; where you work and where you live, and how many times you've moved; and yes, if you've ever been arrested or sued, it will be in there too.
This is your credit file. It's put together and kept by consumer reporting agencies, otherwise known as credit bureaus. These agencies make money by selling off your file to credit card companies, employers, possible business partners, and insurersanybody who wants to know how you live and how you spend.
Scary, right? Exactly. That's why the government passed the Fair Credit Reporting Act, which was set up to prevent any abuse of this credit file system. Run by the Federal Trade Commission, the Fair Credit Reporting Act makes sure that the credit bureaus respect your privacy, and that any company or person accessing your credit files does so too.
One way to find out more about your rights under the Fair Credit Reporting Act is to contact the various credit agencies that have a file on you. There are three main ones: Equifax, Experian, and Trans Union. All three can be found in your local yellow pages under "credit" or "credit rating and reporting," or find all three online as well. Simply do a search at a search engine for their names.
The law allows you to contact the agencies and demand that they permit you to know what is in your report. They can tell you everything that's there, and where they got the information from. There may be a charge to get a paper copy of the report, but in many cases, especially if you're having an issue with your credit, the report can be attained for free.
If you have any problems with the information in your report, be sure to notify the credit agency immediately. Under the Fair Credit Reporting Act, they have responsibilities to make sure that these errors are fixed, along with the help of the company or agency that provided the faulty information.
About the author
Joshua Shapiro recommends Find Credit Cards to find a Visa credit card. See http://www.findcreditcards.org/issuer/visa.php for more information.