What Is FCRA Compliance And How Does It Affect Your Background Check?


Background checks include a lot of very personal information that is also easy for others with bad intentions to misuse. Just for those reasons, there is a federal law known as the Fair Credit Reporting Act or (FCRA) for short. This is the law that protects us and yet allows others insight into our background records. Although this law is good to have, it only regulates and rules over consumer reporting agencies that comply with it and not the many other companies that offer instant background checks at low prices and other instant checks.

When a consumer reporting agency, also referred to as a CRA, complies with the FCRA then it abides by a certain set of rules that are aimed at keeping both the party requesting a background check, as well as the person who it is being done on, compliant.  It used to be rather controversial because although it gave every person a right to dispute any information included in their background check, the potential victim of wrongful data did not have a chance to see the reports provided by the CRAs. However, this has changed since the FACTA (Fair and Accurate Credit Transaction Act) took effect in 2003.  

For the most part, FACTA is an extension of the FCRA that allows people, upon proper request, to see their report for themselves, and also requires any employer or credit agency, upon proper request, to provide the person with a copy of what they received. This was, and remains, an important step towards protecting the rights of people having background checks done.

What are the responsibilities of credit reporting agencies? The FCRA, as already mentioned, rules over credit reporting agencies that abide by and meet certain standards. Common examples of reporting agencies would be those that usually have contact with people, like mortgage lenders, banks, credit card companies, all kinds of courts, collectors and also past or present employers. 

One would think that because of who is allowed to provide information that all data would be correct. However, this is not always the way things are and many consumers actually do find mistakes. Because of this fact, the FCRA has created guidelines for the reporting agencies to follow.  Presently, reporting agencies are required to provide only complete and correct information, and to correct any information that is found to be in error.

If a person having the background check done thinks there is inaccurate information reported, then these reporting agencies also have the duty to investigate the claim and correct any inaccurate information. The investigation has to be completed within 30 days and then reported to the person that made the dispute in the first place. Needless to say, if information was wrong then it must be corrected. 

Employers using this information for any adverse action must comply with the FCRA. Employer should only use a consumer reporting agency and background check providers that comply with the FCRA because these companies are most familiar with the rules and legislation that regulate background checks. To get a background or drug report that is compliant with the FCRA on both a national and statewide level go to The Screening Source at https://www.thescreeningsource.com

 Their 3-step quality assurance process enables them to provide background and drug checks that are accurate and legally sound!  Get the fastest and most reliable screening services with The Screening Source!