Who Can and Cannot See Your Credit Report

Your
credit report
, a summary of your financial history, is an
important document that can help determine whether or not you
receive a credit card, mortgage or automobile loan, and what
interest rate you will pay for your loans.  Your credit report
can even determine whether or not you can rent an apartment or
whether you get hired for a job. 

The Fair Credit Reporting Act (“FCRA”) specifies who can access
your
credit report
and who cannot.  The FCRA states that a
company must have a legitimate purpose to view your report and any
organization or individual who obtains a copy of your credit report
without permission or under false pretenses can be fined under the
FCRA. 

Who Can See Your Report

Lenders
If you are applying for credit or already have credit, the lender
has permission to
view your report
.  A lender may review both your credit
score and report during the application process and periodically
while you maintain credit. 

Insurance Companies
Most auto insurance and some homeowner insurance companies will
review your credit report prior to extending you insurance. 
Some
insurance companies
will request your score to help determine
what type of premium you will pay for the insurance.

Collection Agencies
If you owe money to a collection agency because you failed to make
payment on your debts, a collection agency may view your credit
report and score.  Collectors will use your report to
determine whether or not to begin collection efforts. 
Collectors often pull reports prior to a debtor knowing the
collection agency was trying to collect a debt. 

Landlords
Most landlords will check your credit before renting you an
apartment or home.  Depending on what service the landlord or
realty company uses for a credit check, the landlord may or may not
receive your credit score along with a copy of your
report. 

Cellular Phone and Utility Companies
When submitting an application for a cellphone or utility service,
your credit report and score may be used to evaluate your request
and may result in an outright denial or require you to provide a
deposit prior to receiving service.  After you receive
service, your report and score may be reviewed on a regular basis
to monitor your account.   

Who Cannot See Your Report

Employers, Potential or Existing

Your employer or a potential employer
cannot review your report
without your written consent.  

Spouse or Ex-Spouse
Your spouse or ex-spouse cannot review your report. 

Any Potential Creditor with Whom You Have Not Applied
for Credit

If you have not applied for credit with a company, they cannot
access your credit file.   A potential creditor can pull
your report for promotional purposes to determine if they should
send you an offer of credit but they cannot see what is included in
your report. 

If you are having trouble with your
credit report
or need additional information, please contact
SmithMarco P.C. for a free case review.