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Who Has Access To Your Credit Report?

Not everyone has a right to view your credit history, and those who have a need to look at it must get your permission first.

Your credit report can be accessed by individuals and companies that have a "legitimate business need," such as when you, the consumer, apply for a credit card, personal loan, home loan, car loan, employment opportunity, insurance, apartment rental, or other opportunities in which credit is needed.

If you've ever applied for anything that requires a check of your credit history, a file is opened within credit reporting agencies that will contain certain information about you, such as your address, social security number, place of employment, whether you make your payments on time or if they are paid late, and if you've applied for credit lately.

Your file will also include information about child support, student loans, if you've filed for bankruptcy protection within the past ten years, been sued, had your wages garnished, and on certain occassions, if you've been arrested.

Those who may have a need to run a credit check on you include:

  • Landlords
  • Banks
  • Mortgage companies
  • Credit card companies
  • Insurance companies
  • Department stores
  • Jewelry stores
  • Automobile dealerships
  • Employers
  • State and local law enforcement agencies
  • Any governmental agency
  • State and local child support agencies

In most cases, a creditor will ask for your permission to access your credit report, but there are instances when permission is not required, such as pre-approved credit offers.

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