The State of New Jersey
NJ Department of Banking and Insurance
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Home > Consumer Information > Personal Finance > Credit Awareness/ID Theft > Consumer Credit Bill of Rights
Consumer Credit Bill of Rights


The Consumer Credit Bill of Rights is designed to empower and protect your financial life and credit history.

You have the Right to...

  A free copy of your credit information
More information:
Credit reports
Credit scores
Adverse action notices
Inaccuracies in your credit reports
Financial education
Identity Theft
  Receive notice if an adverse action is taken against you based on your credit history
  Correct inaccuracies on your credit reports
  Access financial literacy materials via the Internet and local locations
  File complaints with the Department of Banking and Insurance
  Know your rights if you are a victim of identity theft
  Freeze access to the credit file held by a credit reporting agency about you
  Control who sees your credit information
  Know records containing your personal information will be properly destroyed
  Stop unsolicited credit offers
  Be notified if your personal financial information, such as your Social Security number, is accessed by an unauthorized person
   
You have the right to a free copy of your credit information

As a New Jersey resident, you are entitled to a free copy of your credit report once a year from each of the major credit agencies (Equifax, Experian and TransUnion) or view all three at AnnualCreditReport.com.

Your credit report contains detailed information about your credit history. It is a good idea to review your credit report to make sure it is accurate. (To request your free report...)

Many companies use your credit score when you are seeking credit, a loan, utility hook-ups, and even a job. Your credit score is a number that is calculated based on your credit history that measures your credit worthiness at a particular point in time. You can receive your credit score for a reasonable fee from the credit agencies.

 

You have the right to receive notice if an adverse action is taken against you based on your credit history

You have the right to receive a notice in all cases where an adverse action is taken against you based on your credit history. You also have the right to receive a clear explanation regarding the adverse action.

 

You have the right to correct inaccuracies on your credit reports

If you find inaccuracies on your credit reports, you have the right to contact the credit agencies to correct the information. (Call Equifax at 1-800-685-1111, Experian at 1-888-397-3742 or TransUnion at 1-800-888-4213.)


You have the right to access financial literacy materials via the Internet and local locations

Consumer education is a critical component to understanding how your credit history impacts many aspects of your day-to-day life. The Department wants to encourage New Jersey residents to develop a better understanding of credit reports, scores and their use. The Department will offer you the tools to become a smarter consumer through its web site and Consumer Center in Newark.


You have the right to file complaints with the Department of Banking and Insurance

Although federal law limits the ability of states to enforce federal credit and consumer protections, the Department wants to encourage you to file credit-related complaints with the state. While you should still file your complaint with the federal government, logging your complaint with the Department will help track potential patterns of consumer abuse and will help to maintain the state as a "consumer watchdog" for you and all New Jersey consumers.

If you have a credit complaint relating to ...

An insurance company

A credit card company, mortgage company or any other financial institution (other than an insurance company)

A real estate licensee


You have the right to know your rights if you are a victim of identity theft

Identity theft can be costly - both in terms of financial loss and liability, as well as time lost correcting the problem. Knowing what to do if you believe you are a victim of identity theft helps to limit the damage and regain control of your personal financial information. (More information about identity theft...)


You have the right to freeze access to the credit file held by a credit reporting agency about you

A security freeze is a way to "freeze" access to your credit file held by a credit reporting agency.

As of January 1, 2006, you will be able to give access to selected users of the credit file through a password or temporary exemption to the freeze. This tool is available to New Jersey residents as a way to control use of their personal credit information to prevent or limit the damage from someone stealing someone's identity and using it for their personal profit. (More information...)


You have the right to control who sees your credit information

Your nonpublic personal information is regularly shared between companies with which you do business and their affiliates, as well as other companies marketing their products to you. You have the right to opt out and not share your information by contacting those financial companies with whom you do business.


You have the right to know records containing your personal information will be properly destroyed

Outdated records held by entities in the state that contain personal financial information would be destroyed on a periodic basis and destroyed properly. Eliminating unnecessary records with your personal information would help to prevent identity theft.


You have the right to stop unsolicited credit offers

Consumers can remove themselves from pre-screened credit solitications generated by their credit reports by contacting the Federal Trade Commission at 1-888-5-OPT-OUT or on the web at www.optoutprescreen.com.


You have the right to be notified if your personal financial information, such as your Social Security number, is accessed by an unauthorized person

Many businesses and public entities keep computerized records with personal information in them. The law requires these companies to contact you if they believe there may have been unauthorized access of your personal information in their computer files that could be misused. The disclosure to you must be made promptly.


 
OPRA
OPRA is a state law that was enacted to give the public greater access to government records maintained by public agencies in New Jersey.
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New Jersey Department of Banking and Insurance