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Credit Education

Picture of Credit Education To get these collection agencies off your back, start by educating yourself. The Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA) is your first weapon. It spells out what debt collectors can and cannot do when attempting to collect a debt. It is also a good idea to read up on the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) as well since many collection agencies use your credit report as leverage to get you to pay a debt.

Your rights under the Fair Credit Reporting Act:

  • You have the right to receive a copy of your credit report. The copy of your report must contain all of the information in your file at the time of your request.
  • You have the right to know the name of anyone who received your credit report in the last year for most purposes or in the last two years for employment purposes.
  • Any company that denies your application must supply the name and address of the credit bureau they contacted, provided the denial was based on information given by the credit bureau.
  • You have the right to a free copy of your credit report when your application is denied because of information supplied by the credit bureau. Your request must be made within 60 days of receiving your denial notice.
  • If you contest the completeness or accuracy of information in your report, you should file a dispute with the credit bureau and with the company that furnished the information to the bureau. Both the credit bureau and the furnisher of information are legally obligated to investigate your dispute.
  • You have a right to add a summary explanation to your credit report if your dispute is not resolved to your satisfaction.

Finally, check your state laws regarding your rights. While many are identical to the FDCPA, some states offer consumers additional protection. Make sure you also research the statute of limitations in your state.