The Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA)
The Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) below is the federal law regulating credit bureaus or credit reporting agencies (CRA) as they are now called.
APPENDIX A: The Fair Credit Reporting Act
The Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) is designed to promote accuracy and ensure the privacy of the information used in consumer reports. Below are some questions consumers commonly ask about consumer reports and Credit bureaus (credit bureaus or credit bureaus) and the answers.
Sec. 1681. - Congressional findings and statement of purpose
(a) Accuracy and fairness of credit reporting. The Congress makes the following findings: (1) The banking system is dependent upon fair and accurate credit reporting. Inaccurate credit reports directly impair the efficiency of the banking system, and unfair credit reporting methods undermine the public confidence which is essential to the continued functioning of the banking system. (2) An elaborate mechanism has been developed for investigating and evaluating the credit worthiness,  credit standing, credit capacity, character, and general reputation of consumers. ''creditworthiness,''. (3) Consumer reporting agencies have assumed a vital role in assembling and evaluating consumer credit and other information on consumers. (4) There is a need to insure that consumer reporting agencies exercise their grave responsibilities with fairness, impartiality, and a respect for the consumer's right to privacy.
(b) Reasonable procedures. It is the purpose of this subchapter to require that consumer reporting agencies adopt reasonable procedures for meeting the needs of commerce for consumer credit, personnel, insurance, and other information in a manner which is fair and equitable to the consumer, with regard to the confidentiality, accuracy, relevancy, and proper utilization of such information in accordance with the requirements of this subchapter
Sec. 1681a. - Definitions; rules of construction
(a) Definitions and rules of construction set forth in this section are applicable for the purposes of this subchapter.
(b) The term ''person'' means any individual, partnership, corporation, trust, estate, cooperative, association, government or governmental subdivision or agency, or other entity.
(c) The term ''consumer'' means an individual.
(d) Consumer Report. - (1) In general. - The term ''consumer report'' means any written, oral, or other communication of any information by a consumer reporting agency bearing on a consumer's credit worthiness,  credit standing, credit capacity, character, general reputation, personal characteristics, or mode of living which is used or expected to be used or collected in whole or in part for the purpose of serving as a factor in establishing the consumer's eligibility for - ''creditworthiness,''. (A) credit or insurance to be used primarily for personal, family, or household purposes; (B) employment purposes; or (C) any other purpose authorized under section 1681b of this title. (2) Exclusions. - The term ''consumer report'' does not include - (A) any - (i) report containing information solely as to transactions or experiences between the consumer and the person making the report; (ii) communication of that information among persons related by common ownership or affiliated by corporate control; or (iii) communication of other information among persons related by common ownership or affiliated by corporate control, if it is clearly and conspicuously disclosed to the consumer that the information may be communicated among such persons and the consumer is given the opportunity, before the time that the information is initially communicated, to direct that such information not be communicated among such persons; (B) any authorization or approval of a specific extension of credit directly or indirectly by the issuer of a credit card or similar device; (C) any report in which a person who has been requested by a third party to make a specific extension of credit directly or indirectly to a consumer conveys his or her decision with respect to such request, if the third party advises the consumer of the name and address of the person to whom the request was made, and such person makes the disclosures to the consumer required under section 1681m of this title; or (D) a communication described in subsection (o) of this section.
(e) The term ''investigative consumer report'' means a consumer report or portion thereof in which information on a consumer's character, general reputation, personal characteristics, or mode of living is obtained through personal interviews with neighbors, friends, or associates of the consumer reported on or with others with whom he is acquainted or who may have knowledge concerning any such items of information. However, such information shall not include specific factual information on a consumer's credit record obtained directly from a creditor of the consumer or from a consumer reporting agency when such information was obtained directly from a creditor of the consumer or from the consumer.
(f) The term ''consumer reporting agency'' means any person which, for monetary fees, dues, or on a cooperative nonprofit basis, regularly engages in whole or in part in the practice of assembling or evaluating consumer credit information or other information on consumers for the purpose of furnishing consumer reports to third parties, and which uses any means or facility of interstate commerce for the purpose of preparing or furnishing consumer reports.
(g) The term ''file'', when used in connection with information on any consumer, means all of the information on that consumer recorded and retained by a consumer reporting agency regardless of how the information is stored.
(h) The term ''employment purposes'' when used in connection with a consumer report means a report used for the purpose of evaluating a consumer for employment, promotion, reassignment or retention as an employee.
(i) The term ''medical information'' means information or records obtained, with the consent of the individual to whom it relates, from licensed physicians or medical practitioners, hospitals, clinics, or other medical or medically related facilities.