Who Can Legally Access My Credit Reports?

Published on Oct 16, 2013 10:12 am

If you’re wondering where you stand financially, your credit report lays out detailed information regarding your credit accounts, monthly obligations, delinquent financial items and the total amount of your outstanding debt. This is of course, sensitive information that should be kept private and secure. For this reason, your credit report can only be accessed with your permission. Still, depending on the purpose, there are reasons why an outside entity may want to gain access to your credit report.

For example, many landlords are hesitant to rent an apartment to a tenant who hasn’t established healthy credit habits because there’s a chance that they’ll default on their rent. For this reason, it is permissible for a landlord to request access to view your credit report to review your payment history.

Keep in mind, there are laws designed to protect your privacy.

If your credit report is accessed by an outside entity without a valid reason, they could be fined and/or imprisoned. The main people who need to access your credit report include landlords, mortgage and loan lenders, insurance companies, credit card companies, government bureaus, potential employers, and state or local child-support enforcement agencies.

It’s a good idea to check your credit report once a year to make sure that all information is being reported correctly. If your personal information or past financial information is being reported incorrectly, there are steps you can take to report suspected inaccuracies with the credit bureau.

Doing this also keeps you informed of any identity theft issues that may arise. Your credit report usually contains a list of everyone who has requested a copy of your credit report. If you see an inquiry by an unknown company, you can contact the credit bureau to obtain further details on why it was requested.

About the Author
Ginger Dean is the owner and founder of GirlsJustWannaHaveFunds.com where she empowers women to take charge of their finances. She aims to educate, empower and help women realize their net worth.

This article is provided for general guidance and information. It is not intended as, nor should it be construed to be, legal, financial or other professional advice. Please consult with your attorney or financial advisor to discuss any legal or financial issues involved with credit decisions.

Published by permission from ConsumerInfo.com, Inc.  © 2013 ConsumerInfo.com, Inc.  All rights reserved.

More like this