Credit reports are used by many companies to decide whether or not to do business with you: for example, a bank deciding whether to give you a loan, a landlord deciding whether to rent you an apartment, or a company deciding if they should offer you a job may all look at your credit report.
Sometimes the information in these reports may not be correct, which means the decisions may not be fair. The Fair Credit Reporting Act protects consumers against incorrect information in their credit reports.
If you were denied a loan, an apartment, or a job, you have the right to ask if you were denied because of your credit report. This also applies to tenant screening reports. You can ask why you were denied a lease, and you can request a copy of the information in your file. You can also request a free copy of your credit report each year, from consumer reporting agencies like Equifax, Experian and TransUnion.
If you were denied because of your credit report, it’s a good idea to review your report to see if it is correct. If any of the information is wrong, you can file a dispute with the consumer reporting agency that gave you the report.
To file a dispute, it is best to put the dispute in writing. Write a letter noting what information is incorrect, and send it to the consumer reporting agency. Keep a copy of the letter for yourself.
Under the Fair Credit Reporting Act, the agency has to investigate a dispute within 30 days. If you file a dispute about your credit report, and the information is not corrected within 30 days, a lawyer may be able to help.
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