Who has access to my credit report and when is disclosure an invasion of privacy?

On Behalf of | Jul 11, 2023 | Invasion of Privacy

Your credit report is very important because it tracks your financial activity and builds up a history for lenders to consider. They look at your credit score when deciding if they’re going to give you a loan or not. In some cases, this can impact the chances that the loan will be approved. Even in cases where a new loan or line of credit is approved, your credit score can help to determine things like the terms of that loan and its interest rates.

Your credit report also has a lot of very private information on it about how you spend money, your financial habits, your assets, etc. This is information that you don’t want anyone to just be able to see at any time. Who has access and when might access be a problem?

Giving permission

Generally speaking, you will be asked to directly give permission to an organization to look at your credit report. For instance, perhaps you’ve contacted a credit card company to apply for a new card. On the application, it will say that you are giving the business permission to run a credit check. If you don’t authorize this check, it is not allowed to look at your credit report. The company also will not approve you for the line of credit.

In some cases, multiple lenders will get access to your report and/or score. For instance, you may give permission to a financing professional to contact lenders when looking at terms and seeking low interest rates. They will shop your application around to multiple lenders. When they find one that fits with what you’re looking for, then you can move forward. But it’s important to note that multiple companies may have access to your information at this time – although these inquiries are usually carried out between 14 and 45 days, so that permission isn’t going to last forever.

Is it an invasion of privacy?

It could be an invasion of privacy if someone accesses your credit report without your permission. For instance, maybe a credit card company or a lender has skipped the step of gaining your permission and simply shared your application anyway. It doesn’t have to be a malicious case of identity theft, although that would also be an invasion of your privacy. If you believe that this has happened, then you need to know about all of your legal options. Seeking legal guidance could be to your advantage.

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