Q. I have been refused
credit. Can I do something about it?
A. Absolutely! A significant number of Americans
have some "blemish" on their credit
reports. Due to the nature of the credit reporting
industry, those blemishes can be mistakenly
included on your record. Frequently, credit
reports contain inaccurate, erroneous or obsolete
entries. Under the law the credit reporting
companies must remove inaccurate, erroneous
or obsolete information. You should check your
credit report and see why you were, or may be,
denied credit. Then you can do something to
correct the mistakes and have your report corrected
Are "credit reporting agencies"
a part of government?
A. No. Credit reporting companies are just
that - companies. They are in business to
make money, just like the mega-billion-dollar
banks that run the credit card businesses.
The credit reporting business is a multi-billion
dollar industry. They generate their income
by selling credit reports to creditors.
Is it illegal or immoral to have your credit
A. No. It is not illegal or immoral to eliminate
mistakes on your credit reports. In fact,
the Federal Government, under the Fair Credit
Reporting Act, Section 1681e, protects your
right to do so.
How does the credit reporting system work?
A. Today, the credit reporting system is literally
millions of computer files about individual
consumers, which are maintained by the three
credit reporting agencies. The files contain
personal information about you - how much
you owe, how you have paid your debts, your
employer, your social security number, public
Q. How does information about me get
into my credit report?
A. When you agree to accept credit from a
bank, most retail stores, etc., or fill out
an employment application - if a credit report
is used as a background check - you give the
creditor the right to provide information
to any credit reporting company. Additional
information about you comes from public records,
such as court records, debt collection companies,
and even the utility companies.
How do the credit reporting agencies work?
A. The banks, retail stores, utility companies,
etc. report your payment record to the credit
reporting companies each month. The credit
reporting companies then give that information
to a second tier of regional reporting companies
who sell it to retailers and banks or anyone
who legitimately requests information about
Why should I care what is in my credit file?
A. You'd better care. It is your credit report
that creditors use to determine if they will
extend credit to you. If you have inaccurate
information on your report, you may be turned
down for the loan you need or pay unnecessarily
high interest rates.
Why do the credit reporting agencies have
separate reports for husband and wife?
A. The credit reporting agencies collect information
based on individual social security numbers.
Only by checking both the wife's and husband's
credit reports can we ensure accuracy.
Who can request information about my credit
A. Under the Fair Credit Reporting Act, a
credit reporting company may only disclose
your credit report if someone is:
- Granting credit, reviewing your account,
or collecting on your account.
- Reviewing you for employment purposes.
- Reviewing your application for insurance.
- Reviewing your eligibility for a license
or government-related benefits.
- Providing information for a business transaction,
such as renting an apartment.
- A court order.
- An IRS subpoena.
- Someone to whom you have given written
How often are mistakes entered into my credit
A. Frequently! Some experts say a significant
number of credit reports contain errors! These
are inaccurate, erroneous, or obsolete information
that can cost you the credit you deserve.
Who will remove items from my credit report?
A. Only the credit reporting agencies
have the power to remove items from your credit
report. But, as required by law, the credit
reporting agencies must correct or remove
inaccurate, erroneous, or obsolete information.