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Fair Credit Report Act is a law that protects consumers from credit reporting that are unaccounted for, fraudulent or faulty. According to this act, the consumers have the right to view their credit scores once every year, free of cost. The consumers can also report the faulty credit reporting and errors in entries, fraudulent entries for purchases not made, or bills paid on time, and other inaccuracies. The credit bureaus and the credit card issuers are required by this law to respond to complaints within 45 days of receiving it, and remove the entries duly.
Consumers are also protected from the unwanted credit checks performed, and unnecessary access to credit information. Before the law was enforced, anyone interested could access an individual's credit report and read sensitive information. According to the law, only people involved in business transactions with the individual can have access to his or her credit report. Some categories are listed below.
Money lenders and loan companies:
Loan companies who have received applications from an individual can access the credit report of the individual. Money lenders or banks from whom a consumer is obtained the loan are also eligible to perform periodic checks on the credit report, to make necessary changes to the loan account. Whenever a consumer applies for any kind of loan, the company becomes automatically eligible to perform credit checks.
Insurance companies are eligible to perform credit checks on their existing clients, and also applicants before signing up for policy. Insurance companies, auto insurance in particular, perform periodic credit checks in order to make necessary changes to the policy.
Landlords and employers:
Employers and landlords are also eligible to perform credit checks on new job applicants or apartment seekers, in order to verify credibility. Apart from the time of application, they are also eligible to conduct regular checks on their existing employees or tenants.
All utility providers like telephone, cell phone, cable, electricity are eligible to perform credit checks on individuals subscribing for their services. If the nature of billing cycle is monthly, then any service provider who falls under that category can perform credit checks on the clients or applicants.
Credit card companies:
Even though credit cards are the way to start building credit history, even they require credit history checks before they approve an application. Credit card companies are eligible to perform periodic checks on their customers, and new applicants, to validate their ability to pay the bills.