Who Can Check My Credit Report?
Most people realize employers and landlords often run a background and credit check on prospective tenants or candidates for a job. However, because these checks contain such sensitive information, you may wonder if anyone can run a credit check on you.
You may know people you do not want running a credit check on you. The government understands that many people feel this way and has realized the importance of protecting this information. As a result, the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) came into law in 1970. The FCRA intended to protect consumers’ privacy and more.
This law limits who can access your credit report and what they must do to access it. Someone who wants to check your credit must have a legally acceptable reason to do so. Here are some of the reasons someone can check your credit.
- You give a person written permission to obtain the report.
- The person requesting the information does so as part of a credit transaction with you.
- A credit bureau receives a subpoena or court order ordering them to supply a copy of the report.
- Someone needs to check your credit due to a business deal you initiated.
- You have applied for a government benefit requiring a credit check to see if you are eligible.
- You authorized a potential employer to obtain a copy of the report.
- An insurance company asks for a copy when they are underwriting a policy.
These are just some reasons someone can obtain a copy of your credit report. If you feel uncertain about whether someone acquired your credit report had the right to do so, you can check the FCRA. Also, remember that someone who obtains your credit report must use it for the stated purpose. They cannot use the credit report for something other than the reason they gave for requesting it.
The FCRA will hold a credit reporting agency liable if the agency gives an unauthorized person a copy of your credit report. In addition, the FCRA will hold the person without a permissible purpose accountable.
Consumers can suffer significant damage if someone without a permissible purpose obtains their credit report. The consumer could face financial, reputational, and emotional damage. In addition, consumers who do suffer can sue for actual and punitive damages.
Your credit report contains valuable information. As such, it is crucial to know who can obtain your credit report. Knowing this information can prevent identity theft. In addition, you can prevent others from abusing your rights.
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