Your Credit Rights

The law protects you against discrimination and deceptive and unfair business practices by creditors. If you are denied credit, the Equal Credit Opportunity Act (ECOA) gives you a legal right to know why. Under ECOA, you cannot be denied credit based on your:

Race
Sex
Marital status
Religion
Age
National origin
Receipt of public assistance

The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) enforces a number of credit laws, including laws on debt collection. Click here to read information on fair debt collection and the FTC

What If Credit Is Denied?
Credit may be denied due to:

A history of late payments
Lack of credit
Bankruptcy
Legal judgments
Charge-offs
Credit accounts turned over to collection agencies
Incorrect information

If you are denied credit:

Ask the creditor for a written explanation.
Contact the credit bureau within 60 days. You're entitled to a free copy of your report.
Don't apply for more credit until the situation is resolved.
Offer a non-traditional credit file, which creditors are required by law to consider. This file would include proof that you paid your other bills (such as rent) on time.

What About Mistakes?

If your credit report contains errors, contact the credit bureau in writing. Your claim must be investigated within 30 days. If the dispute can't be resolved or if the information can't be verified, it must be deleted.

Creditors and credit bureaus are equally responsible for correcting errors. Contact the creditor that reported your incorrect information to the bureau.

Remember that late payment information can stay on a credit report for 7 years, and bankruptcy information can stay for 10 years.

Q. Joe had a history of late payments when she declared bankruptcy 6 years ago. How much longer can this information stay on her credit report?

A. Late payments: 1 more year
    Bankruptcy: 4 more years



Maintaining credit
 

 

    Fannie Mae
    Freddie Mac
   
Ginnie Mae
   
VA
   
FTC
   
FDIC
   
FRB
   
HUD
   
Complaints

 

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