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Denied a card, man thinks credit report is wrong

Dear Lawyer Mark: I am having trouble with a credit bureau over my file and I want to share this with you and your readers.
My husband and I applied for a credit card at a certain bank I will not mention.
The bank turned down our application claiming we had a bad credit report.
The first thing I found out is I have a right to look at my credit bureau file.
I next learned that it is amazing what gets in there and how some of what gets in there gets messed up.
What the bureau reported was sometimes way wrong; sometimes only partly true (yes, we were late in payment but there was a good reason for the tardiness); and sometimes true but misleading.
Anyway, my question is now that I am aware of my file, what can I do to clean up the problems and mistakes?
Thanks for your help. — OUT OF CREDIT ON CENTER STREET
Dear out of Credit: In 1970 Congress adopted a law called the “Fair Credit Reporting Act,” which has had some amendments since then.
That law sets forth procedures for which credit agencies must follow when preparing and releasing credit reports.
You not only have a right to review your file, you also may demand the agency reinvestigate any information you believe is wrong, and you may place a statement in the file disputing what is reported.
The act further allows you to sue the agency for noncompliance.
You should also know that the credit bureau is not allowed to show your file to just anyone.
Privacy is restricted to certain enumerated “permissible uses.” Included in that category are employment and credit matters.

It’s The Law is written by attorney Mark K. McCown in response to legal questions received by him. If you have a question, please forward it to Mark K. McCown, 311 Park Avenue, Ironton, Ohio 45638, or e-mail it to him at LawyerMark@yahoo.com. The right to condense and/or edit all questions is reserved.