What are the requirements for accessing a credit reports?

To guard against abuse and to protect your privacy, the FCRA requires that all businesses must meet the following requirements before they are allowed to access credit information:

  • Proof of a permissible purpose under federal law
  • A background check and on-site inspection of the business
  • A current business license
  • A signed contract requiring the business to use the data properly

The only time your credit report can be accessed without your permission is in prescreening for credit offers or if a judge subpoenas your credit information. You can opt out of prescreening by contacting the three major credit bureaus, although you will then receive no more pre-approved credit card offers.

Accepted or Rejected?

You have the right to know whether your application for credit was accepted or rejected within 30 days of filing it. If it was rejected, you have the right to know why. The creditor must either immediately give you the specific reasons your application was rejected or provide you with reasons if you ask for them within 60 days. Indefinite or vague reasons are illegal, so ask for specifics.

If you have been denied credit because of the contents of a credit report, the creditor must also provide you with information about how to contact the credit bureau that supplied the credit report. This is one of the few circumstances under which you are entitled to a free credit report directly from the credit bureau.

THIS CONTENT IS FOR INFORMATIONAL PURPOSES ONLY. THIS IS IN NO WAY GIVING ANY LEGAL ADVICE OR REPRESENTATION. THE INFORMATION CONTAINED HEREIN WAS COMPILED FROM VARIOUS ARTICLES. FOR ANY LEGAL ADVICE OR REPRESENTATION SEEK YOUR OWN LEGAL COUNSEL.