Most lending institutions report a summary of loan histories to credit reporting agencies. They in turn compile the information reported to them and, for a fee, furnish information to interested parties. When you apply for a loan, the lender will likely obtain a copy of your credit report to see how well you have paid your debts with other institutions. If you have met your obligations satisfactorily, and you have not accumulated excessive amounts of debt (relative to your income), the likelihood of your obtaining a loan is enhanced. The more “blemishes” on your credit report, the less likely you are to be approved, or the higher your interest rate and fees.
The credit reporting industry is regulated by the federal Fair Credit Reporting Act which is administered by the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) — Phone numbers: 303 844-2271 (Denver), or 202 326-3758 (Washington, D.C.).
If you have been denied credit because of information on your credit report, the lender is required to provide you with the credit bureau’s name, address, and telephone number — and you are entitled to a free copy of your report from that credit bureau. Even if you have not been denied credit, you may obtain a copy of your credit report directly from the credit bureau. Some bureaus charge a fee, while others allow one free copy each year.
Solicitors frequently buy lists of prospective clients from credit bureaus. If you would like to be excluded from such solicitation lists you may do so for 2 years by phone or permanently in writing. You may contact the major credit bureaus operating in Utah at: 1-800 556-4711 (Equifax), 1-800 680-7293 (Trans Union), and 1-800 353-0809 (Experian).
If your report shows any items which are incorrect, you may dispute those items by contacting the credit bureau directly. If the credit bureau is unable to verify the item it must be deleted from your record. If an investigation of a disputed report does not resolve the dispute, you are entitled to file a brief statement setting forth the nature of the dispute.
Some companies claim to be able to get negative information cleared from your credit report. If your report contains incorrect information, you can contact the credit bureau directly — as mentioned above. No company can lawfully remove legitimate negative information from your credit report.