"If you don't know your rights, you don't have any."
What Credit Laws Protect You?
Briefly, here are the Federal laws that protect you when you choose to use credit. If you have a problem, you should contact the creditor. If it cannot be resolved, contact the Federal Trade Commission.
Q How much interest will you pay on a loan?
A Truth in Lending Act requires all credit granters to provide you with the annual percentage rate (APR) of the loan prior you signing. This is the true cost of your credit.
Q What if you believe you did not get credit due to age, race, etc?
A Equal Credit Opportunity Act - Prohibits discrimination against you because of age, sex, marital status, race, color, religion, national origin or receipt of public assistance.
Q What if your credit card is stolen and charges were made?
Fair Credit Billing Act
Allows for the prompt correction of errors on a credit account and prevents damage to your credit report while you are settling disputes.
Q What if you find an error in your credit report?
A Fair Credit Reporting Act
- Protects consumers from incorrect creditor reporting to credit bureaus. Allows for privacy. Permits the consumer to put limited statements in their credit report. Provides for removal of outdated information after 7 years (bankruptcy after 10 years).
Q What if a collection agency is harassing you?
A Fair Debt Collection Practices Act
- Prohibits debt collectors (agencies) from abusive collection practices. Allows consumers to dispute a debt and stop any unreasonable collection activities.
Calling before 8AM or after 9 PM
Harassment (vs. strong collection tactics)
Threatening action that isn't permissible