When you want to buy a new car, move into a new home, start new utility service, take out a loan or even get a cell phone, your credit is always going to be a factor. The companies that offer these services and products will pull a copy of your credit report to determine just how much you will have to spend based on your past spending history and your debt to income ratio. Even though the reporting agencies hold your credit scores, it’s important that you realize that you have rights with credit reports, as well.
You are allowed to see your report.
It wasn’t always the case, but now there are laws in place that give you more rights with credit reports, including the right to be able to see exactly what is in your credit report. This means that you are more able to maintain your credit score yourself.
You have the right to see who has viewed your report.
You are able to see everyone that has made an inquiry on your credit score just by looking in the right section of your report. You will only see the most recent ones if you are enrolled in a monitoring program.
A free credit report is available to you once a year.
Once every year you are actually able to get a copy of your most recent credit report with no cost. It is one of your rights with credit reports to get this from a certain website, so make sure that you don’t get taken in by any scams.
Free credit reports are available some other times.
In addition to your free annual report, you also have the right to get one anytime you are not approved for something because of your credit score. Make sure you request it within sixty days. Your rights with credit reports also allow you to get a free copy if you are trying to find employment while out of work, you have been affected by fraud or you are receiving assistance from the government.
You have the right to know if your report was used negatively.
If you have been turned down for something based on your credit, then you have the right to know the specific reason why.
You can fight against things that are incorrect.
Anytime you find things that seem incorrect, it is one of your rights with credit reports to dispute that information with the credit bureau. This means that they then have to investigate the issue and fix any inaccuracies. You also have the right to dispute the erroneous data with the creditor in question.
Information is only relevant for a limited time.
Most negative items can stay on your credit report for between seven and ten years, depending on what it is. However, after this time, it must be removed. If you see that they are still on your report after that period of time passes, then it is within your rights to get it removed by disputing it with the credit bureaus.
Your credit score is available to you.
Not only are you able to examine your credit report, you are also able to ask for a copy of this score. It is not included on your free annual report, but there are services that you can order it from. You also might get a copy of it when you apply for a loan.
You have the right to reject pre-screened offers.
Another one of your rights with credit reports is that you can avoid getting those offers that can fill your mailbox offering you certain credit cards. These offers are based on information that companies have gotten from your credit report and you can request that you no longer get them. If you decide at some point that you want to see them again, you always have that choice.
You can go to court against companies that violate your rights.
If any business or company violates nay of your rights with credit reports, you might be able to take them to court for damages. You are also able to submit a complaint with the Attorney General in your state and the FTC if you have run into an issue of noncompliance.
It used to be a lot more difficult to manage your own credit report and your credit score. However, now, because of laws set in place to protect consumers you have many more rights with credit reports. Take advantage of your rights and make sure that you keep everything neat and tidy on your credit report. If you obtain your free annual report each time it is available, then you can really get a handle on your financial situation and come out on top of your debts.