We all use it. Some of us use it every week. Some of us use it every day. And some people use it more than they should. What is it? It is that valuable little piece of plastic . . . the credit card. If you’ve ever experienced problems with credit, here is a list of legal statutes that may offer you some protective action.
Fair Credit Reporting Act–Requires credit reporting agencies to maintain complete and accurate information in your credit file. You have the right to access your file at anytime. If you are denied credit as a result of information in your file, you have a right to review your file at no charge. Notify the credit reporting agency if you find incomplete or inaccurate information. The agency is required to investigate and correct any errors.
Fair Credit Billing Act–If there is a credit dispute, you may be able to withhold payment of the amount in question until the dispute is resolved. Be aware however, you must apprise your credit card company of the problem, in writing, within 60 days of receiving the bill in question.
Equal Credit Opportunity Act–This Act declares it illegal for creditors to discriminate against credit applicants on the basis of race, marital status, gender, religion, national origin, age or because the applicant receives public assistance income.
Credit Practices Rule–Prohibits retailers, credit unions, and finance companies from requiring you to use certain household goods as collateral, relinquish specific rights or agree to wage assignments. This rule also requires that consumers receive a notice of potential liability before they co-sign for loans.
Fair Debt Collection Practices Act–This law prohibits certain methods of debt collection such as: false statements, harassment, and other unfair practices.
Truth in Lending Act–Under this Act, lenders must provide you with information concerning costs and terms (including the annual percentage rate) prior to you signing any loan agreement.
If you’d like more information, check out the Federal Trade Commission, at www.FTC.GOV.