The FCRA Improved Matters, but there is Still a Long Way to Go

By: Stuart Hunter

The Fair Credit Reporting Act's inability to produce a credit system where the "accuracy, relevancy, and proper utilization" of your information is protected has resulted in a credit system that is hardly "fair and equitable" to you as a consumer. But in defense of Congress, the FCRA has been strongly influenced by industry lobbyists. In fact, when the FCRA was made into law in 1971, Senator William Proxmire, one of the bill's primary sponsors, felt defeated at what had become of his good intentions for the bill.

Since that time, the FCRA has been amended to become more and more consumer focused, but there is still a long way to go and as was the case in 1971, those in the financing industry are still keenly interested in keeping things weighted in their favor.

While credit reporting agencies are no longer able to record information such as your race or religion, they also are not required to record other personal information that is relevant to your ability to use credit wisely. If you are a model citizen who has worked with the same company for over a decade, has no criminal record and takes home enough income to cover your expenses and still have money left over for savings, it seems evident that you are more creditworthy than a career criminal who is a continual burden on the system. That makes sense, but none of the traits that prove you are a responsible person are recorded by the credit reporting agencies . If you and the career criminal have the same types of accounts recorded on your credit reports, your credit scores will be identical.

Also, while amendments to the Fair Credit Reporting Act give you the right to see what information is recorded on your credit reports, you do not have the ability to learn any more than the very basics of how it is used to generate your credit score. What impact will paying past due debt have on your credit score? Which credit cards should be paid down first? Should you apply for a new credit card? We have vague, observation based answers for each of these questions, but the exact formula is unknown and is subject to change at any time.

Finally, you have the right to dispute the questionable items in your credit files, but you don't have the right for this process to be easy or effective. Depending on your situation, fixing bad credit can be as easy as submitting an online form or as difficult as tracking down creditors, fighting with collections companies, and possibly involving legal counsel.

The very entities who profit from inaccurate credit reporting are the ones who contributed to watering down the Fair Credit Reporting Act and who continue to resist consumer efforts to add equity to the credit system. It is these organizations you are forced to deal with when working to enforce your right to a fair and accurate credit report.

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Because the process of fixing credit can be a time consuming and frustrating chore, many people are turning to legitimate credit correction organizations like Lexington Law for assistance with their credit reports.

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