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Accessing credit

Credit is an important part of good business savvy, understanding your credit, and who can access it, will help you do better in the world of business finance. If you do not understand who can access your personal credit report, you will not be able to control the flow of information, and leverage what you can.

Who can access your credit report? According to the major credit reporting agencies, the following six entities can gain access to your credit report:

1. Lenders
2. Credit card companies
3. Utility and cell phone companies
4. Employers, landlords and insurers
5. Court agencies, child support agencies and collection agencies
6. You

Of course, in order to gain access to your credit report they have to have permissible purposes. The FCRA clarifies that in order to pull someone's credit, you have to have a reason that fits under one of the following categories:

1. Pulling credit may be done in response to a court order such as a divorce, or when applying for bankruptcy protection. In addition, any child support enforcement agency can pull credit, whether it be a public or private agency.

2. Pulling credit may be done when the consumer whose report it is gives permission. It is important to note that while this is the most common time credit is pulled (such as applying for a store credit card), it is certainly not the only kind, and should not be mistaken as such.

3. When new credit is being issued, a credit report may be pulled to verify credit worthiness.

4. When a debt is being collected, the collection agency may use a credit report to discover further information about the individual.

5.Credit may be pulled in order to review existing credit obligations. Lenders often do this to determine debt to income ratios and the like.

6. Credit is often pulled for employment purposes, to determine the responsibility of an individual.

7. Credit may be pulled in order to underwrite insurance of all kinds, be it car, home, life, etc.

8. Credit is often pulled in order to grant licensure or other certification and government issuances.

9. Credit may be pulled as a valuation by a third party of existing debt obligation.

10. If someone has a legitimate business need for the information due to a business transaction initiated by the consumer, the business may pull credit to review the credit worthiness of the consumer.

As you can see, there are a number of people who can gain access to your credit report, and this is why it is so important to stay informed about the information contained therein. You want to be careful to verify that the debts included are real, and reported accurately, and you want to correct any mistakes that are showing up on the credit report, whether they be because of clerical error, or identity theft, or some other reason.

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