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Understanding the Difference Between a Credit Report and a Consumer Report

The Fair Credit Reporting Act (“FCRA”) regulates how credit reporting agencies obtain and use your credit and consumer history. Credit reporting agencies (such as Experian, TransUnion, and Equifax) obtain information relating to your financial history such as: credit card accounts, car loans, personal loans, mortgages, and status of other forms of debt. A credit report will document which accounts are in good standing, if any debts are past due, and other information about your financial history.

A credit report, however, is a type of consumer report. A consumer report is a broader report that contains personal identifying information beyond credit. Such information includes, among other things, your criminal history, driving records and employment history. Consumer reports are typically utilized by prospective employers, landlords, and educational institutions to obtain further information regarding an applicant. Consumer reports also fall under the purview of the FCRA.

How the FCRA Protects Non-Credit-Related Consumer Reporting

In addition to consumer credit information, the FCRA also regulates dissemination and use of consumer information. When applying for a job; looking for an apartment to rent; or applying for school; a consumer report may be sought to determine qualifications. When this information is inaccurate, it can prevent consumers from qualifying for a job, or securing a place to live. The consequences can be debilitating when inaccurate information is contained within a consumer report.

That is precisely why the FCRA seeks to protect consumers by requiring that anybody requesting a background check obtain the express and written consent of the consumer, and provides the required disclosures so that a consumer is aware of the inaccurate information.

When You Should Speak with a Consumer Protection and FCRA Attorney

Many consumers are unaware that the FCRA has regulations governing and protecting the information contained in credit reports, and especially those of consumer reports, such as those relating to background checks. As such, it is not always easy to know what your recourse is for false or outdated information that appears on your credit and consumer reports.

There is information online that can help answer questions for consumers challenging the information on their credit and consumer reports. However, as is the case with anything you search online, that information is not always accurate. By speaking with a licensed attorney who specializes in consumer protection and FCRA law, you will be taking the right step to have your questions answered accurately and competently.

Contact The Kim Law Firm, LLC Today to Speak with a Consumer Protection Attorney

If you believe there is false or outdated information on your credit or consumer report, you should consider seeking the guidance and advice of a qualified Consumer Protection and FCRA Attorney. Contact The Kim Law Firm, LLC today by calling 855-996-6342 for a no cost initial consultation with one of our experienced attorneys.