Our country’s history is filled with a legacy of balancing capitalism and the consumer rights of the people. In honor of Presidents’ Day, here are three pieces of financial legislation in recent times that directly help you manage your consumer debt.
How Presidential Decisions Impact Your Credit and Debt
Managing credit card debt, credit history, and personal finance, in general, can be overwhelming. Luckily, Congress continues to pass laws that help consumers navigate through it.
The Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA)- 1970
FCRA was signed into law back in 1970 by Nixon and has been added to since. According to the FTC, “The federal Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) promotes the accuracy, fairness, and privacy of information in the files of consumer reporting agencies. There are many types of consumer reporting agencies, including credit bureaus and specialty agencies.”
Key points of the Act include:
- You have the right to know what is in your file.
- You have the right to ask for a credit score.
- You have the right to dispute incomplete or inaccurate information.
- Consumer reporting agencies must correct or delete inaccurate, incomplete, or unverifiable information.
- You must give your consent for reports to be provided to employers.
- Consumer reporting agencies may not report outdated negative information.
Plain English Rules- 1998
Another great Act signed into law by President Clinton is the Plain English Rules Act. This act requires the use of short sentences, everyday language, active voice and no legal jargon to be used in documents to make them more accessible and readable.
Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act- 2010
Dodd-Frank is the most recent Act to be passed, created after all the consumer debt and troubles from the recession a few years ago. The intro to the Act says its purpose is “To promote the financial stability of the United States by improving accountability and transparency in the financial system, to end ‘‘too big to fail’’, to protect the American taxpayer by ending bailouts, to protect consumers from abusive financial services practices, and for other purposes. ”
While managing consumer debt is never easy, these three Acts have given more consumer protection and rights to the people.