Fair Credit Reporting Act
The Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) is a federal law that protects citizens and their financial information. There are several rights that people are granted under the Fair Credit Reporting Act that anyone attempting to purchase property should be aware of.
1. If the information in your credit report or any consumer report is used in such a way that your application for credit is denied, or you are denied insurance or employment, you must be told what agency provided the information as well as the contact information for that agency.
2. Any person with a credit report has the right to know what is contained in that report. People are able to secure a free copy in various instances, including when adverse action has been taken, they are the victim of identify theft, or they are on public assistance. People are also entitled to one free report every 12 months.
3. If you choose to do so, you may request your credit score. This can be useful to understand what you may or may not qualify for when shopping for a mortgage loan.
4. After receiving your credit report, you may notice errors in that report. You have the right to dispute any inaccurate information you discover and the reporting agency must investigate your claims provided they are not frivolous.
In many cases, the real estate agent you are working with can provide you with a free copy of your file and explain what it contains. This report can be provided by the mortgage lender as you begin the process of shopping for a loan.