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Accessing Your Credit File

Your credit report is an extremely personal piece Piggy _bankof information that explains your credit history in detail in a world where we rely heavily on credit to survive. The good news is, not anyone can review this document, unless you give them permission.  As a consumer, you can review your own credit report at any time without damaging your credit score and you are entitled to a one free copy of your credit report annually from all three credit bureaus at annualcreditreport.com.  Other parties however, can only review your credit report if they have a permissible purpose which is outlined in the Fair Credit Reporting Act ("FCRA").  Below is a list of the entities that can access your credit file if they have a permissible purpose without violating the FCRA.

  1. Banks and credit grantors
    If you plan to borrow money from a bank, complete a loan application or apply for a credit card with any type of credit grantor, you must give them permission to access your credit file.  Your credit report gives them the information necessary to help determine whether or not to approve you, for what amount and at what interest rate. 

2.  Existing Creditors
Your existing creditors can access your credit file.  Having an open account gives your creditors permission to review your information to make sure you are still "credit worthy".

3.  Your Employer
Your Employer whether existing or potential can access your credit file but must have your express permission to do so.  A recent amendment to the FCRA requires potential employers to provide you with a detailed explanation of their right and intention to access your file along with your rights under the FCRA

4.  Landlords
If you rent an apartment or home, a landlord whether potential or existing may access your credit file to determine your ability to pay rent.  

5.  Collection Agencies
A collection agency to whom you owe money can access your credit file for the purpose of collecting on the account.

6.  Insurance Companies
An insurance company with whom you hold a policy may access your credit file to determine whether to renew an existing contract or whether to issue a policy in the first place.  

SmithMarco, PC has been protecting consumer rights since 2005.  If you feel your credit file has been accessed by an illegitimate party without a permissible purpose in violation of the FCRA, contact us, PC for a free case review

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