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:

Marital status
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
Legal judgments
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


Discussion Forum

Recent Posts -


Home Loans
Homeowners - get fast, easy & free online mortgage answers.

Compare Mortgages

Search MortgageSector for Low Rate Loans! Get Info & Apply online here.

Save Online

Compare offers on interest on adjustable mortgages. Get Started now!

By visiting Allie Mae you have taken your first step toward becoming an educated borrower. Allie Mae is an objective, independent source of information for the mortgage consumer. Whether you are buying a home, refinancing, taking a home equity loan, building a home or in need of a mortgage for any purpose, Allie Mae is here to help. Allie Mae has helped thousands of people with their mortgage needs. We have a complete selection of articles, charts, calculators, and checklists designed to help you through the mortgage and home buying process.

© 2004 Copyright AllieMae. All Rights Reserved.
Privacy Policy   Legal  Terms & Conditions   Webmaster   Site Map    Application
About   Contact Us   Forum   Dictionary   Calculators   Articles   Free Content