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Do You Know Who Is Watching Your Credit Report?

By Faye Mergel
Published: Saturday, April 17th, 2010

AGERM-00504001-001Free Credit Reports can now be found with greater ease but what are the problems this can lead to!? The Federal Trade Commission has passed a rule which expects websites to mention the government www.annualcreditreport.com. Mass media follows September 1st onwards.

The ads do not explain that the free credit reports can cost consumers almost $15 a month.

Equifax, TransUnion and Experian are to each provide one free credit report to consumers per year. People facing unemployment, or having corrections in their report or other problems can request for new free credit reports. Credit Bureaus must have the same information on each person unless the lenders did not provide right information. If a bank denies your request for a loan based on a report, a customer can request a copy.

Who can check your credit report?

Only people who have a professional interest or banks or lenders can check your credit report.

“Curiosity is not a permissible purpose. You can’t just pull a report, not even on your husband”, Rebecca Kuehn of the FTC said.

Employers use credit reports to check on probably employees. Lawmakers across the country are debating as to weather or not to ban the process, after Washington and Hawaii did so recently.

Credit reports do not have personal information to prevent employers hiring people based on age and marital status but hiring people based on credit and outstanding is down right unethical.

Credit Scores are made of Credit Reports

A person can have more than one score as FICO, makes the most used scores and so does VantageScores. Each bureau sells different scores. Equifax provides FICO scores, with a range from 300 to 850. Experian sells VantageScores, which range from 501 to 990.

TransUnion sells both to consumers. FICO creates its own formula for each bureau hence making it more specific to cater needs. The reports from different bureaus may be different as it is specifically made for the needs of the bureau itself.
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Credit Scores can be bought from Credit Bureaus or from MyFico.com for $14.95 each.

Credit Reports not only source of Information

“It used to be people could qualify for large transactions based on a credit score. Now more lenders want income verification too.” Kroll Factual Data’s Teresa Grove said. Credit reports are used everywhere but other sources can provide employers with information about the consumer.

Credit reports are the most widely known, but they’re not the only information available on consumers. Landlords can check a person credit report to verify rent records, etc without prior permission but companies who wish to employ a client need to have the consumer’s permission to access his reports.

“It’s not uncommon for companies to run background screenings on prospective hires to check for criminal histories. For a high-level position, a company might also request permission to verify past employment, salary or education,” Grove said.

Companies must give reasons for not choosing a candidate based on his report if needed and the consumer is eligible to a copy of that report.

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