Improper Use of Your Credit Report

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The Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) allows individuals and businesses to pull your credit report only for purposes permissible under the law. Any individual or business that pulls your credit report for an impermissible purpose likely is violating the law and may be liable to you for damages under the FCRA.

To learn who may access your credit report and how they can use your credit report, continue reading this page. If you need help, or if you believe your rights were violated, contact BCJ Law for help. To speak with our credit report attorney, call 1-800-997-5561 or complete our contact form.

When can people access my credit report?

Here are some of the permissible purposes for which individuals and business can access your credit report:

  • Employment: employers can pull your credit report if you give proper and knowing consent.
  • Obtaining Credit: businesses can pull your credit report for credit card, loan, and finance applications.
  • Debt Collection: debt collectors can pull your credit report in aid of debt collection.
  • Insurance: insurance companies can pull your credit report for insurance applications.
  • Gov't Benefits/Licenses: your credit report can be pulled when applying for government benefits or government licenses.
  • Court Orders: courts can order the disclosure of your credit report.
  • Business Transactions: your credit report can be pulled if there's a legitimate need connected to a business transaction you initiated.
  • Advertisements: your credit report can be pulled for credit or insurance offers.

When can't people access my credit report?

Companies can’t pull your credit report if they don’t have a permissible purpose to do so under the law. Impermissible use of a credit report may entitle you to damages. Here are examples of impermissible uses of credit reports:

  • Debt Discharge: creditors and debt collectors can't pull reports after a debt is discharged through bankruptcy or litigation.
  • No Consent: employers can't pull credit reports if they fail to obtain consent, or if they obtain consent in an unlawful manner.
  • Wrong Person: creditors and debt collectors may pull your credit report if they think you're someone else.
  • Debt Relief Advertisements: debt settlement, debt consolidation, debt management, and debt relief companies can't pull your credit report to market services to you.
  • Non-Credit Legal Actions: your credit report can't be pulled for non-credit-related lawsuits or lawsuits on involuntary debts.
  • Authorized Users: creditors can't pull credit reports for people that only are authorized users of a credit account.
  • Advertising Non-Firm Offers: creditors can't pull your credit report for advertising if they aren't making firm offers of credit.

How can I find out who used my credit report?

You’ll often get some type of notice, either directly or indirectly, if someone is pulling or using your credit report. You also can pull a copy of your credit report and look under the “inquires” section to see who has been using you credit report. To learn how to get a free copy of your credit report, visit our get your report for free page. If you find an error on your credit report, visit our dispute credit report errors page.

What can I do if I think my credit report was used improperly?

If you believe your credit report was pulled for an impermissible purpose, you may be entitled to damages under the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA).

Hire BCJ Law to help!

If you’re having credit report problems, contact BCJ Law LLC for help. To speak with our credit report attorney, call 1-800-997-5561 or complete our contact form.

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