Consumer Credit Files Rights Under State and Federal Law

You have the right to dispute inaccurate information in your credit report by contacting the credit bureaus directly. However, neither you nor any credit repair company or credit repair organization has the right to have accurate, current and verifiable information removed from your credit report. The credit bureaus must remove inaccurate, negative information from your report only if it is over 7 years old. Bankruptcy information can be reported for 10 years.

You have the right to obtain a copy of your credit report from the credit bureau. You may be charged a reasonable fee. There is no fee, however if you have been turned down for credit, employment, insurance, or rental dwelling because of the information in your credit report within the proceeding 60 days. The credit bureau must provide someone to help you interpret the information in your credit file. You are entitled to receive a free copy of your credit report if you are unemployed and intend to apply for employment in the next 60 days, if you are a recipient of public welfare assistance, or if you have the reason to believe that there are is inaccurate information in your credit report due to fraud.

You have the right to sue the credit repair organization that violates the Credit Repair Organization Act. The law prohibits deceptive practices by credit repair organizations.

You have the right to cancel your contract with a credit repair organization for any reason within 3 business days from the date you signed. Credit bureaus are required to follow reasonable procedures to ensure that the information on the report is accurate. However, mistakes may occur. You may, on your own, notify a credit bureau in writing that you dispute the inaccuracy of the information in your credit file. The credit bureaus must then reinvestigation and modify or remove the inaccurate or incomplete information. The credit bureaus may not charge any fee for this service. Any pertinent information and copies of all the documents you have concerning this error should be given to the credit bureau. If the credit bureaus reinvestigation does not resolve the dispute to your satisfaction, you may send a briefstatement to the credit bureau, to be kept in your file, explaining why you think the record is inaccurate. The credit bureau must include a summary of your statement about disputed information with any credit report issues about you.

The Federal Trade Commission regulates credit bureaus and credit repair organizations For more information contact

The Public Reference Branch
Federal Trade Commission
Washington, D.C. 20580