A credit score is a numerical expression based on a statistical analysis of a person's credit files, to represent the creditworthiness of that person. A credit score is primarily based on credit report information, typically sourced from credit bureaus.
Credit scores affect whether you can get credit and what you pay for cards, auto loans, mortgages and other kinds of credit. For most kinds of credit scores, higher scores mean you are more likely to be approved and pay a lower interest rate on new credit.
Lenders look at your scores all the time. They look at your scores when deciding, for example, whether to change your interest rate or limit on a card, or whether to send you an offer through the mail. Having good credit scores makes your financial dealings a lot easier and can save you money in lower interest rates. That's why they are a vital part of your financial health.
The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) formed the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) through which you can exercise your credit rights.
Your credit rights under the FCRA include:
* If any company has rejected your application for credit, insurance or employment, the company should provide you the details of the agency that provided these details
* You have a right to get a free copy of your credit report once an year
* In case of a rejection of your application for a credit, insurance or employment, you are entitled to a copy of a free credit report
* You have a right to request for your score anytime for a fee or get a copy copy from a mortgage lender in certain mortgage transactions
* You have a right to report any inaccurate information in your report and the Consumer Reporting Agency (CRA) must investigate
* Negative information should not be reported for more than the scheduled period of time and if reported, you have a right to dispute
* Your report should have a limited access to those who need it strictly for credit, insurance or employment
* Your credit report may be provided to your employer only with your written consent
* You may seek damages if a CRA or a furnisher of information to the CRAs violates the FCRA
It is important to understand that knowledge of your credit rights and exercising them gives you an edge over the violators of the FCRA. Prompt action must be taken such a violation take place. Engaging an attorney with expertise in the FCRA can ease the crease in your eyebrows.