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Your credit report is full of personal and financial information as a way to compile your borrowing history as a consumer. It’s important to understand that your credit score is not available to the general public due to its sensitive nature, meaning only certain people or entities can request your credit report. As such, you should familiarize yourself with these matters to protect yourself and your information. The following blog explores what you should know as a consumer and why it’s imperative to understand how a San Diego consumer lawyer can help with any issues you may face during this time.

What Entities Can Request My Credit Report?

The Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) allows your credit report to be sent to legitimate parties who may need to verify your borrowing history for business purposes. Generally, only those with legitimate business needs can pull your credit score. These entities and circumstances include, but are not limited to, the following:

  • A creditor before opening an account
  • Eligibility for government benefits
  • Landlords and property management companies
  • Potential employers, especially for those in the finance industry
  • Insurance companies
  • Utility services

As you can see, all of these entities would have a legitimate reason for needing to see your credit information. That is why the general public does not have access to the credit reports of others.

What Happens if an Unauthorized Party Gets Access?

If a party does not have a valid reason to request your credit report, they can potentially face criminal and civil penalties as a result. Additionally, if they view the information on your report, they can also face charges.

It’s important to understand that if you see inquiries listed on your report that you do not recognize, this can be a sign of fraud rather than someone trying to see your borrowing history. Unfortunately, if someone tried to take out a loan in your name or using your information, lenders may look into your credit report. As such, you must take the necessary steps to prevent fraud. You should report the theft through the Federal Trade Commission and then notify the credit bureaus.

You may want to place a fraud alert or credit freeze on your account. If you are in the middle of applying for loans, a fraud alert may be in your best interest as it informs potential lenders to verify your information before opening an account in your name. A freeze can help prevent anyone from accessing your credit by placing a freeze, which is ideal if you do not plan on opening any accounts or applying for loans in the future.

As you can see, your credit report plays a critical role in your life as a consumer. Unfortunately, when errors or fraud affect your credit score, it can impact you for years. As such, it’s imperative to understand the importance of connecting with a consumer defense attorney from Barthel Legal who can help represent you if someone unauthorized accessed your credit score or you have reason to believe you are the victim of fraud. Connect with us today to explore your legal options and learn how we can guide you through these challenging times.