If you're a consumer and you're in debt, it's helpful for you to know what protections
are in place for you. Below, we'll discuss some of the protections that are in place that can help you with
your credit problems.
Consumer Credit Protection Act & Truth In Lending
The Consumer Credit Protection acts requires that all creditors disclose to all borrowers
all of the terms and conditions of credit extension. If you're a consumer and you've never
received a Truth In Lending Disclosure (or if you can't find yours) you should contact the
creditor and ask for one. These disclosures can help you understand your interest rates, finance
charges and more. These laws extend to all forms of credit including credit cards, revolving
loans and mortgages. Information
that must be included in these disclosures include:
- Amount being Financed
- Annual Percentage Rate (APR)
- Monthly Payments
- Number of Payments to be made
- Total Finance Charges
- Monthly finance charges
- Late payment fees
The Fair Debt Collection Practices Act
The FDCPA explains in clear language what rights you have as a consumer in regards
to debts that are turned over to a collection agency. These third party agencies have an
obligation to follow the regulations that are designed to protect you as a consumer.
It is important to be aware that this act is not designed to protect you from collection
protections for commercial debts or taxes.
The Fair Credit Reporting Act
Fair Credit reporting laws are designed to protect consumers from inaccurate information
being included in their credit reports. It's important that not only you be familiar with
this act, but you should also check your own state regulations as often states offer additional
layers of protection for consumers.
© iStockphoto.com - absolut_100
The Credit Repair Organizations Act
Unfortunately in these difficult times there are companies that will offer to "fix"
your credit report for you for
exhorbitant fees. Often, these companies are not valid agencies and prey on those who are significantly
in debt and perhaps those who lack understanding of how the financial markets work. This act was designed
to protect you from predatory practices in the credit repair business.
Equal Credit Opportunity Act
Sadly today we still have some who are discriminated against. This act was mandated so that no
reputable lender could discriminate against any person applying for a loan based on their age, their
national origin, their marital status, their sex, race or their religion. If you feel you've been a
victim of discrimination, read about your rights and learn what recourse you have.
The Fair Credit and Charge Card Disclosure Act
Whether you have a stellar credit record or a "softer" credit record, you may receive
credit card solicitations by mail. These solicitations must contain full information about interest
rates, fees and grace periods that are offered prior to finance charges being used. Make sure you
understand your rights (and your obligations) when you accept these disclosures.
The Fair And Accurate Credit Transaction Act
Many people are not aware that they are entitled to obtain one free credit report annually.
Taking advantage of this can help you understand what is on your credit report and understand your
credit score. This can also help you protect yourself from fraudulent use of your credit cards.
Related topics: debt self help,
debt management plan