Who may request my credit report?

The Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) permits a credit reporting company to send your credit report to creditors, government authorities, landlords, employers, and others it has reason to believe intend to use the report for:

  • A credit transaction, such as offering credit, reviewing an account, or collecting on an account.
  • Offering insurance coverage or setting insurance premium charges
  • Employment purposes, which includes prospective employment or promotion, reassignment or retention in your current job. You must provide written consent before a prospective or current employer can get a copy of your credit report
  • Determining eligibility for government benefits or licenses
  • A legitimate business need in connection with a transaction that you initiated, such as a rental application

The FCRA also permits a credit reporting company to send your credit report in response to:

  • Court orders, subpoenas, or for certain child support awards and enforcement purposes
  • Potential investors or servicers, or current insurers of credit portfolios
  • Written instructions from you

In a process called prescreening, the FCRA also permits prospective creditors or insurers to access certain information in your credit file in order to make you a firm offer of credit or insurance.  You can opt out of prescreening.

No one should request your credit report without a valid purpose allowed by the law. Anyone who uses or obtains a copy of your credit report under false pretenses may be subject to civil and criminal penalties.

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