It truly takes a team effort to comply with the Fair Credit Reporting Act.  Many corporations don’t realize that F.C.R.A. compliance involves multiple aspects of applicant background screening, not just Consumer Credit Reports.  Noncompliance penalties from the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau and consumers can involve extensive civil and punitive damages per incident.


  • Limiting Criminal Record Search results to reportable findings based on F.C.R.A. guidelines.
    • Further limiting criminal record search findings based on State Level F.C.R.A. guidelines.
  • Providing the applicant with toll free access to our staff via our background authorization form, our website, and our **adverse action forms.
  • Providing our clients with copies of “A Summary of Your Rights Under the Fair Credit Reporting Act”
  • Maintaining a standard procedure for all applicants regarding disputing information discovered in the course of an applicant background check. Including but not limited to…
    • Re-processing any disputed criminal record search at no cost to the applicant or client.
    • Providing the applicant with contact information at the jurisdiction in question to resolve inaccurate court information when necessary.
  • Providing clients with easily accessible sample adverse action letters directly from the background check report, as well as unlimited and FREE compliance support.  
  • Providing applicants with a copy of their background check in required states (upon request).
  • Complying with the credit bureaus required procedures for permissible purpose requests, secured transmission and storage of consumer credit information.
  • Complying with the individual State MVR mandates on request procedures, receiving and storage of electronic information.

Important Terms

Fair Credit Reporting Act:  (FCRA), Public Law No. 91-508, enacted to promote accuracy, fairness, and the privacy of personal information assembled by Consumer Reporting Agencies (CRAs). Reports prepared by companies such as applicant background screening agencies fall under the FCRA’s definition of CRAs and must follow FCRA regulations put forth by the Federal Trade Commission.

Pre-Adverse Action: Informs a candidate that data discovered on their background report may negatively affect a decision regarding their employment. This notice is intended to provide the candidate an opportunity to dispute any information found in the report. This notice is provided with a copy of the background check. In some states, such as Illinois, additional information as to the reasoning must be provided as well.

Adverse Action:  Denying an applicant a job or an employee a promotion based entirely or partially on the results of a consumer report or investigative consumer report (background check).

At we do all we can to educate our clients and make F.C.R.A. procedures a simple routine.  In the end however, it’s a joint effort and up to your hiring managers to follow these basic F.C.R.A. procedures.  Please see the following items on our “MUST” list.

  • You MUST follow adverse action procedures as outlined by the Securities Exchange Commission when denying employment based on the results of a background check. (see our easy to follow outline with tips)
  • You MUST keep the applicant background check in a secure environment if you chose to print or save the report.
  • You MUST NOT transmit Credit Report information, Motor Vehicle Driving Record Information or other background check results to another location without the permission of the applicant.
  • You MUST NOT share username and password information used to access Additional users can be added any time upon request.
  • You MUST maintain internal security procedures to assure computer access security and data protections.
  • You MUST permit an onsite compliance inspection if your company wishes to receive credit report information.


  • Taking a role in educating HR Personnel and/or providing documentation on state specific reporting guidelines as well as federal FCRA reporting guidelines regarding criminal record reporting, credit histories, and more.
  • Management of adverse action correspondence via email or U.S. Mail for pre-adverse and adverse action letters in the correct order and time frame.


If you have questions on background screening or Fair Credit Reporting Act compliance call us anytime.  We’re here to help!