The Fair Credit Reporting Act’s Limited Preemption of State Laws
States play an important role in the regulation of consumer reporting. State laws that are not “inconsistent” with the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) are generally not preempted by that statute. The FCRA also expressly preempts certain categories of State laws. This interpretive rule clarifies that FCRA’s express preemption provisions have a narrow and targeted scope. States therefore retain substantial flexibility to pass laws involving consumer reporting to reflect emerging problems affecting their local economies and citizens. For example, if a State law were to forbid consumer reporting agencies from including information about medical debt, evictions, arrest records, or rental arrears in a consumer report (or from including such information for a certain period of time), such a law would generally not be preempted. Likewise, if a State law were to prohibit furnishers from furnishing such information to consumer reporting agencies, such a law would also not generally be preempted. Similarly, if a State law required that a consumer reporting agency provide information required by the FCRA at the consumer’s requests in languages other than English, such a law would generally not be preempted.