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The creditworthiness of a person is determined by the credit score and the credit history of a person. However, if one gives a thought about who maintains or gives this report and how accurate is his evaluation, you will arrive at this term called fair credit reporting. There has to be a file somewhere if you apply for insurance, a job, loan or a credit card.
There are agencies known as consumer reporting agencies which collect all this information about you and sell it. However, selling doesn`t mean unauthorized distribution of your private data and personal information. In fact the Fair Credit Reporting Act is exactly there for a purpose which is to ensure maintain privacy of all this information and promoting the accuracy of the information. This is one reason, why consumers are allowed to sue the credit reporting agencies or the data providers to those agencies for any damage caused by a credit report generated by them with incorrect information.
A company can ask for your credit report from a CRA only if it has a valid reason which includes your applying for a job, insurance, credit card etc. with that company. If a company denies you a loan on the basis of your credit report, it has to provide you with the address and name of the credit bureau which had generated your credit report. You are then allowed a grace period of 30 days to write to the credit bureau and try to get any errors corrected. If there is a conflict between you and the credit bureau and the dispute hasn`t been resolved, you can even request to attach this dispute record to the credit report.
If you need to take a look at your credit history, you can ask the consumer reporting agencies, who are liable to provide you with the information, along with the information of all those who have requested for your credit report in the recent times, at some charge. You can in fact limit the access of others, by requesting credit bureaus to not add you on to the lists which are used by the insurance and credit card companies to make unsolicited offers to potential customers. The credit report which is maintained by the agencies has to stick to certain rules. The credit bureau can report your bankruptcy information for a period of 10 years, for example, and a criminal conviction can always be reported.