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If you need to consult with an attorney or would like more information on credit reporting problems, please contact the Erie County Bar Association's Lawyer Referral Service.

Credit Reporting Problems

You have the right to know what is contained in your credit file. If you have been denied credit, employment or insurance within the last sixty days, the Credit Bureau must show you your complete credit file at no charge to you. Even if you have not been denied credit, employment or insurance, you have the right to see your complete credit file at a reasonable charge.

A credit report can be shown only to persons from whom you have requested credit, insurance or employment. You have the right to one free credit report per year from each credit reporting agency.

Most information in your credit file can be reported for seven years. Bankruptcy information can be reported for ten years from the date of final discharge in bankruptcy.

If you find that there is inaccurate information in your file, you should inform the Credit Bureau at once. The Credit Bureau must investigate the facts. If the Credit Bureau finds that the information is inaccurate, any persons who have received the incorrect information must be notified of the error by the Credit Bureau. If there is a dispute between you and the Credit Bureau regarding the information in your file and the dispute cannot be resolved, you have the right to place a written statement in your file giving your version of the information. When sending out the disputed information, the Credit Bureau must include your written statement.

The Credit Bureau is required to maintain reasonable safeguards against disclosing your file to anyone who is seeking the information for an improper purpose. The Credit Bureau must also maintain reasonable procedures to make sure the information in your file is accurate. However, you should understand that a Credit Bureau has the right to report accurate information regarding your debts and payment history.

Finally, you should be skeptical of companies who claim they can fix your credit if you have a bad credit history. So called credit repair companies can do little or nothing to change an accurate credit history.   4/18