Personal Finance Tip of the Day

Handy Law Answer Book
ISBN: 9781578592173

What is the Fair Credit Reporting Act, and how does it protect consumers in case of credit error and fraud?

  • It requires that credit scores be disclosed.
  • It requires that credit scoring models and factors used for those models be disclosed.
  • It tells consumers how to appeal in case of a wrongful charge.

The Fair Credit Reporting Act includes says that credit scores must be disclosed upon request.

In general. Upon the request of a consumer for a credit score, a consumer reporting agency shall supply to the consumer a statement indicating that the information and credit scoring model may be different than the credit score that may be used by the lender, and a notice which shall include--

(A) the current credit score of the consumer or the most recent credit score of the consumer that was previously calculated by the credit reporting agency for a purpose related to the extension of credit; (B) the range of possible credit scores under the model used; (C) all of the key factors that adversely affected the credit score of the consumer in the model used ... (D) the date on which the credit score was created; and (E) the name of the person or entity that provided the credit score or credit file upon which the credit score was created.

The Fair Credit Billing Act which provides an avenue for relief for those who are charged wrongly, incorrectly or unfairly. Under the Fair Credit Billing Act, you must notify the credit of the error promptly--within 60 days of first receiving notice. You may wish to contact the creditor in writing and explain the error so as to ensure the triggering of the protections of this law.

Your letter (which you should send by certified mail) should contain your name and the account number on which the error took place, your belief as to the specific billing error and the amount of the error, and the reasons why this is in error (never charged, wrong amount charged, double billing, etc.)

From The Handy Law Answer Book by David L. Hudson, Jr., JD., (c) 2010 Visible Ink Press(r) Combines practical legal tips with an exhaustive overview of U. S. law to answer to more than 800 legal questions.
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