Who is allowed to pull your credit report?

Not just anyone can pull your credit report. The Fair Credit Reporting Act, the federal law which governs credit reporting, allows credit reporting agencies to generate your credit report under the following circumstances and no other: 

  • by written request from you or a guardian
  • by court order
  • by request from a state or local child support enforcement agency
  • by request of others who intend to use your credit report:
    • to extend credit (including landlords and utilities)
    • to collect debt (debt collectors)
    • for employment purposes
    • for insurance underwriting purposes
    • to determine eligibility for a license or other government benefits
    • to determine if you meet the terms of an account
    • for business transactions

You would be able to tell if someone illegally pulled your credit report, but only if you look. Each time your credit report is pulled, a record of who requested it is documented. This information is disclosed to you on your credit report. Some culprits of this crime would be an estranged significant other, an employer who didn't know or follow the law, ordinary identity theft, and people who have access to the information and use it without authorization.

Take advantage of AnnualCreditReport.com and get your 3 free credit reports each year. If you determine that someone illegally pulled your credit report, consider seeking legal advice. Even if you were not harmed by the illicit deed, the unauthorized access may lead to real harm.