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Interpretive rule

Permissible Purposes for Furnishing, Using, and Obtaining Consumer Reports

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (Bureau) is issuing this advisory opinion to outline certain obligations of consumer reporting agencies and consumer report users under section 604 of the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA). This advisory opinion explains that the permissible purposes listed in FCRA section 604(a)(3) are consumer specific, and it affirms that a consumer reporting agency may not provide a consumer report to a user under FCRA section 604(a)(3) unless it has reason to believe that all of the consumer report information it includes pertains to the consumer who is the subject of the user’s request. The Bureau notes that disclaimers will not cure a failure to have a reason to believe that a user has a permissible purpose for a consumer report provided pursuant to FCRA section 604(a)(3). This advisory opinion also reminds consumer report users that FCRA section 604(f) strictly prohibits a person who uses or obtains a consumer report from doing so without a permissible purpose.

Advisory Opinion

Read in the Federal Register

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Press Release

CFPB Issues Advisory to Protect Privacy When Companies Compile Personal Data