What is the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA)?

The FCRA stands for the Fair Credit Reporting Act, which is a federal law that regulates certain types of reports that contain information about you. The FCRA covers not only traditional credit reports, such as the reports about your credit score or credit history that a lender might receive about you when you are applying for a loan, but other types of reports as well, including criminal background checks done to evaluate a job applicant. In fact, the FCRA governs reports prepared by third party companies about you that are to be used to evaluate you for employment, financial, insurance or a number of other similar purposes. The FCRA contains regulations about when someone can obtain a report about you, the procedures the company that prepares the report (called a consumer reporting agency) has to use to ensure the report is accurate, and the ways you can dispute a report if it is inaccurate. The FCRA also allows you to file suit against the users or authors of a report if the FCRA’s rules are not followed.

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