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What Is Credit?

The FACT Act

The Fair and Accurate Credit Transactions (FACT) Act of 2003 provides additional consumer protection. It redefines and sets new credit-reporting standards for accuracy, privacy, limits on information sharing, and consumer rights to disclosure. The FACT Act expands your rights, protects your identity, and grants you more power regarding your credit report. Here's what the FACT Act does:

  • Allows you to receive free copies of your credit report if you have suffered an adverse action based on your credit file.
  • Requires your consent before anyone may view your credit report or specialty reports that contain your personal medical information.
  • Requires creditors to inform you if they place any negative information in your file.
  • Lets you place a 100-word statement in your file to explain any extenuating circumstances or details about specific disputes or negative entries.
  • If your identity is stolen, allows you to place a fraud alert and freeze your credit file by simply calling one of the credit bureaus.
  • Allows you to sue and receive damages from anyone who violates the FACT Act.

Each state also maintains its own laws related to credit reporting. Visit your state Attorney General's website for additional state-by-state information.

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