A notice informing you of your right to have the

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• A notice informing you of your right to have the credit bureau send a corrected copy of your credit report to any employers who reviewed your credit report over the past two years and to anyone else who reviewed it over the past six months (or over the past 12 months if you live in Maryland, New York, or Vermont). A credit reporting agency can refuse to conduct an investigation if it believes that your request is frivolous or irrelevant. It must inform you in writing of its decision not to investigate and ex- plain why it won’t. It must also tell you what in- formation you must provide in order for the credit bureau to be willing to investigate. If an Investigation Does Not Correct Your Problem If a credit reporting agency’s investigation does not resolve the problem in your credit record, you have several op- tions. You can: Provide the agency with additional information that helps document the problem. Contact the provider of the information you believe is inaccurate. If the provider agrees that the information Warning 172
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it supplied to the credit bureau is incorrect, ask it to report the correct information to the credit bureau and to change the information in its own database. • Prepare a written statement for the credit bureau of no more than 100 words explaining why you believe that your credit record is in error. It will become a part of your credit record. As has already been noted, there is little value in written statements these days because a grow- ing number of creditors use credit scores to eval- uate consumers rather than reviewing consumers’ actual credit histories. Therefore, when you apply for credit, insurance, and so on, you may want to provide the business with a copy of your written statement. Meet with a consumer law attorney who has specific experience resolving credit record problems. The at- torney may be able to get results from the credit bu- reau simply by writing it a letter, or the attorney may recommend that you sue the credit reporting agency. However, for you to have a strong legal case, your lawyer must be able to prove to the court that you were harmed by the inaccuracy in your credit file. You should also file a complaint with the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), the agency that is charged with enforc- ing the FCRA, and with your state attorney general’s con- sumer protection office, if your state has its own credit Warning Credit Reporting Agencies, Reports, and Scores 173
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Credit Hell reporting law. To file an online complaint with the FTC, go to . You can also call (800) 382-4357 or mail your complaint to the Federal Trade Commission, Consumer Response Center, 600 Pennsylvania Ave., NW, Washington, DC 20580. Be as specific as possible in your complaint and provide all applicable dates and back up information How Do You Score? A growing number of creditors and insurance companies are using consumers’ credit scores rather than reviewing their credit record information in order to make decisions about them. Your credit score is derived from your credit history information and it is a numerical representation of how well you have managed your credit in the past and how well you are likely to manage it in the future. Your
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  • Spring '12
  • zinctolg
  • credit score, Credit history, Fair Credit Reporting Act, CREDIT REPORTING AGENCY, credit reporting agencies

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