Who Is Authorized To View My Credit Report?

Who is allowed permission according to the law to pull and see your credit report.?

The fair credit reporting act states that an agency should have what is called the “permissible purpose” to be able to access and individual’s credit report. Only businesses and government agencies are deemed to have a permissible purpose if at all. No individual is given the right to access your credit report apart from yourself. The one exception to this rule is in the case of an employer seeking a potential employees credit report has a background check. But even for this kind of a request the employer has to have written permission of the employee.

Your credit report is protected from being accessed by anybody but yourself by means of various security checks. During the process of accessing your credit report you are required to provide answers to security questions and such information that should only be known to you. These questions include your social security number, details of your accounts such as home loan account number, the amount of your Mortgage etc.

If one is unable to provide satisfactory response to these questions they will be required to produce a valid identity proof before a copy of your credit report can be mailed to you.

The result of somebody accessing someone else’s credit report by means of falsely representing to be that person is tantamount to committing identity theft which is punishable by a fine and potentially imprisonment.

Under the Fair Credit Reporting Act, a credit report may be obtained only:

  • When authorized by the consumer in writing.
  • When there is a legitimate business need in connection with a business transaction initiated by a consumer.
  • When a consumer applies for credit.
  • For the review or collection of a consumer’s account.
  • To review a consumer’s account to determine whether the consumer still meets the terms of the account.
  • For making “prescreened” offers of credit.
  • For portfolio analysis of existing credit obligations.
  • For employment purposes, including hiring and promotion decisions, when the consumer has given written permission.
  • For underwriting insurance when a consumer has applied.
  • For use by state and local officials in connection with determination of child support payments.
  • To determine a consumer’s eligibility for a government license or other benefit when the law requires consideration of the consumer’s financial responsibility.
  • When ordered by a court or federal grand jury subpoena.