University of Illinois Extension

Fair Credit Reporting Act Update

Privacy - Credit reporting agencies and similar firms can't release your records to a current or prospective employer without your written authorization. They also can't disclose medical information to insurers and others without your consent. You can ask to have your name excluded from the lists credit reporting agencies sell to banks and insurance companies for marketing purposes, such as pre-approved credit offers. You can call to get off the list for five years, or fill out a form for a permanent opt-out. You can call one phone number to be taken off the list for all the major credit reporting agencies.

Call 1-888-567-8688 to opt-out. You can do this online at

On the downside, banks and stores now can share credit reports and applications with their affiliates. First, they must send you a letter giving you the right to stop them from sharing your information. Watch for this type of letter.

Credit Reporting Gency To Report problems
TransUnion 800-888-4213
Equifax Credit File System 800-685-1111
Experian 888-397-3742

Despite these new rights, remember there's no way to remove negative information in your credit report if it's correct. Responsible credit use is important.

The Federal Trade Commission web site ( has more information about the Fair Credit Reporting Act and identity theft (

For more information about credit, see other Check Your Credit Report and Build a New Credit Record.

Source: New law to help consumers preserve, protect, and defend their credit records. (1996, Fall). FDIC Consumer News, 12-13.

Written by Brenda Cude, Consumer and Family Economics Specialist, University of Illinois Extension, October 1997. Updated 2009, Debra Bartman, Consumer and Family Economics Educator, Quad Cities Extension Center, University of Illinois Extension.

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