Who Can Request to See Your Credit Report?
Credit reports are required if you want to obtain a loan, open a new account, rent an apartment, buy a car, or even apply for a job. They contain information about your financial history, such as whether you’ve filed for bankruptcy or been sued for fraud. You should know, however, who can request to see your credit report to keep that information as private as possible.
You can request your free copy of your credit report once per year at annualcreditreport.com. The site provides links to each of the three major credit reporting agencies – Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion – where you can view your credit report and score.
If you suspect that someone has been illegally looking at your report, you should investigate the case and take legal action.
Many companies have been caught using user data without consent. In fact, according to the Federal Trade Commission, over 80% of consumers don’t know if they’re being tracked online. So, who can be legally authorized to look at your report?
Let’s say you have a credit card or a car loan. Credit issuers that issued your credit have a legal right to monitor your credit file as long as you owe money. If they find something wrong with your credit report, they can take action against you by reporting it to the three major credit bureaus. You may even get hit with a late payment fee if you don’t pay off your debt within 30 days.
This also stands for potential creditors if you have applied for credit. A potential creditor will request to take an additional look at your credit report before they decide whether or not to allow your credit.
Mortgage lenders can also look at your credit report, especially if you’re applying to borrow $150,000 or more. They can even look at other information besides your credit score. For example, they may want to know about any liens against your home or unpaid judgments.
They may even ask for copies of your tax returns. If you have bad credit, they may require proof of income. In addition, mortgage lenders will likely check your employment history, your current job performance, and your ability to repay the loan.
Although it’s not often the case, landlords can request to see your rental history. If you don’t have any rental history, they may ask why. You should try to explain that you haven’t had time to find a place yet. Landlords will usually accept this explanation if you do have a good reason.
Again, it’s not too common for landlords to be this nosy, and if you don’t feel comfortable sharing such info, you can look for another landlord that won’t ask these questions.
Less Common Organizations Who Can Request to See Your Credit Report
If you’re looking to buy insurance of anything, you should expect the insurer to ask to check your credit history. That’s just how insurance companies operate.
You don’t have to give them access to your credit report unless you want to. But if you do, they can use that information to determine your risk level. And if you’re buying auto insurance, you may find that your rate goes up by hundreds of dollars per year if you don’t provide this information.
Utility companies may have insight into your credit report. If you’re having trouble paying your bills, they can look up your payment history and even check your credit score. You don’t want them doing this without your permission. To protect yourself, make sure you opt-in before any utility company gets access to your information.
Many states have rules that prevent utility companies from denying you services for any reason, including your credit history. You should learn about your state’s laws on this matter in order to avoid unpleasant scenarios.
Some employers and potential employers may require that you provide them with a copy of your credit report before they hire you.
But what if you don’t want to give out your personal financial information? What if you’re concerned about identity theft? You might think you’d need to turn down any job opportunities until you’ve had time to fix your credit history.
Nowadays you can use blockchain technology to create a new kind of credit score called a “blockchain credit score.” It’s built using data points from your social media accounts, online purchases, and even some non-financial transactions such as voting.
And unlike traditional scores, it doesn’t rely on one source of information. Instead, it uses all available data sources to generate your score. This gives you more control over your privacy while still providing you with a comprehensive picture of your financial health.
Who Can’t Request to See Your Credit Report?
Besides the ones listed above, most other entities are not allowed to request to look at your credit report. This includes most legal procedures, such as divorce, child custody, or immigration. However, this won’t stop some immoral individuals to try to access your files behind your back.
If you suspect that someone unauthorized has been looking at your credit files, call one of the three major credit reporting agencies directly and ask them to investigate. Or you can simply order your annual credit reports and look for suspicious names in the inquiries list.
It’s almost impossible to go your whole life without someone looking at your credit report, so you should get used to it. However, it is very important to know who can request to do it, how much are they allowed to see, and not to let anyone sneak behind your back.