Your Credit Rights
Key Rights Contained in the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA)

Print this page

The Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) is a federal law that regulates how credit reporting agencies use your information. Enacted in 1970 and substantially amended in the late 1990s and again in 2003, the FCRA restricts who has access to your sensitive credit information and how that information can be used.

Summary of Key Rights

The FCRA is a complex piece of legislation and contains numerous provisions not discussed on this page. Below are several important features of how the FCRA that are designed to help consumers (for the complete text, visit the Federal Trade Commission). The FCRA protects you by ensuring that credit reporting agencies:

Disclose your credit report to you upon request. Credit reporting agencies must give you the information in your file if you ask for it and provide the agency with proper identification. See "To Receive Your Credit Report" below for more information.

Limit access to your information. A credit reporting company may not provide your credit report to any party that lacks a permissible purpose, such as the evaluation of an application for a loan, credit, service, or employment. Permissible purposes also include several business and legal uses. For details, see the full text of the summary of your rights.

Get your consent before providing your information to an employer. An agency may not give your credit information to an employer or potential employer unless you first give that employer written permission to request your credit.

Investigate disputed information. If you tell a credit reporting company that your file contains inaccurate information, the agency must promptly investigate the matter with the source that provided the information. If the investigation fails to resolve the dispute, you may add a statement explaining the matter to your credit file. For more information, see Fixing Errors on Your Credit Report.

Correct or delete inaccurate information. A credit reporting company must correct or, as the case may be, delete from your credit file the information that is found to be inaccurate or can no longer be verified from your credit file. The credit reporting company is not required to remove accurate data from your file unless it is outdated or cannot be verified.

Delete outdated information. In general, negative information that is more than 7 years old (10 years for bankruptcies) must be removed from your file.

Remove your name from marketing lists upon request. Creditors and insurers may share information in your credit file with marketers who send you unsolicited offers. To request that the three credit reporting agencies not share your information with marketers, call 888-567-8688.

Disclose your credit score to you upon request. For a fee, you may get your credit score. In some mortgage transactions, you will get credit score information without charge. See "To Obtain Your Credit Score" below for more information.

Add identity theft and active duty alerts. Identity theft victims may place fraud alerts and active duty military personnel serving away from their regular duty station may place "active duty" alerts to help prevent identity theft.

Remedying the Effects of Identity Theft. If you are, or believe that you are, the victim of identity theft, you have specific rights under the FCRA. These rights will help you deal with the effects of identity theft. Click here to view a brief summary of the rights designed to help you recover from identity theft.

Place a Security Freeze on your Credit File. You have the right to place a security freeze on your Equifax Credit File under state law or the Equifax voluntary security freeze program. A security freeze will limit us from reporting your Equifax credit file to third parties, such as credit grantors or other companies and agencies, except those exempted by law or those for whom you contacted us and requested that we temporarily lift the security freeze. To determine the fees for placing, requesting a temporary lift, or removing of a security freeze, please click here.

A security freeze will require you to plan ahead for all your credit applications as you will need to contact us to request that we temporarily lift your freeze to allow us to report your Equifax credit file to the credit grantor you identify. Under the laws of most states, it may take up to three business days to process your request to temporarily lift the security freeze. It may take longer if you have lost the security freeze confirmation number which we provided to you when you first requested the security freeze be placed on your Equifax credit file. You may not be able to request a temporary lift of a security freeze during non-business hours or on weekends. A security freeze may hinder your ability to immediately obtain credit to make major purchases. Again, if you are credit active and apply for credit on a regular basis and have a security freeze on your Equifax credit file you need to be especially mindful of the need to plan ahead and contact us in advance to request a temporary lift of the security freeze on your Equifax credit file.

Click here to learn more about placing a Security Freeze on your credit file.

To Receive Your Credit Report

This chart outlines fees by state for requesting one or more copies of your credit file within one calendar year (unless otherwise stated).

State Free Fees
California $ 8.00
Colorado 1 per calendar year $ 8.00
Connecticut $ 5.00 for the first report, $ 7.50 for each additional report within 12 months
Georgia 2 per calendar year $ 11.00
Maine 1 within 12 months $ 5.00
Maryland 1 within 12 months $ 5.00
Massachusetts 1 per calendar year $ 8.00
Minnesota $ 3.00 for the first report, $ 11.00 for each additional report within 12 months
Montana $ 8.50
New Jersey 1 within 12 months $ 8.00
US Virgin Islands $ 1.00
Vermont 1 within 12 months $ 7.50
All other states $ 11.00
*Unemployed 1 within 12 months
*Welfare 1 within 12 months

You are entitled to one free report during any 12-month period no matter where you live, if you:

  • Are unemployed and intend to apply for employment in the next 60 days
  • Are on public welfare assistance
  • Believe your file contains inaccurate information due to fraud
  • You are also entitled to a free report if you have received notice of an adverse decision (such as denial of credit, insurance, or employment) within the past 60 days

To receive your free Equifax credit report:

  • Visit (This is the quickest and easiest way to gain instant access to your credit report)
  • Call 800-685-1111 -OR-
  • Write to:
    Equifax Information Services
    P.O. Box 740241
    Atlanta, GA 30374

When requesting a credit report by mail, be sure to include your full name, current address, Social Security Number, and most recent former address for file-matching purposes. Also include a personal check made payable to Equifax Information Services LLC, based on the state rates above.

For immediate access to your online Equifax Credit Report™, click here. A $11.00 fee may apply.

Under the FACT Act amendments to the Fair Credit Reporting Act you are entitled to one free credit report disclosure in a 12 month period. To request this free annual disclosure you must contact the Central Source. To contact the Central Source on-line, please click here. You can also contact the Central Source to request this free annual disclosure by calling toll free (877) FACTACT or by using the mail request form available at the central source website by clicking the following link

To Obtain Your Credit Score

By law, you are entitled to obtain your credit score. There is a fee of $7.95 to obtain your credit score from Equifax Information Services. To request your credit score, please contact:

Equifax Information Services LLC
PO Box 105252
Atlanta, GA 30348

or call 1-877-SCORE-11

If you are in the process of obtaining a mortgage, you may be entitled to free credit score information. Contact the person making or arranging your loan for further information.

Protect your credit and ensure the accuracy of what's being reported about you in all 3 nationwide credit reports. Get Started
Get essential credit monitoring and Identity protection in a single plan. All for only $16.95 Get Started
Get immediate online access to your complete credit history and credit score now. Get Started