How to Avoid Unauthorized Requests on Your Credit Report

Have you ever wondered where those requests for your credit report, which are reflected whenever you check it, come from? Actually, some of these transactions may have been initiated by you when you applied for a loan, a credit card, or checked out a car at the auto dealership. It is important to know what the law deems as “permissible” in order to determine which requests are legitimate and thus protect yourself from unauthorized requests on your report.

Each request for your credit report will pull down your credit score anywhere from 1 to 5 or more points. Here's a quick guide on how to avoid having your credit report pulled without your consent.


  1. Image titled Avoid Unauthorized Requests on Your Credit Report Step 01
    Familiarize yourself with the FCRA on permissible purpose. Under the Federal Credit Reporting Act, Section 604, your credit report may be furnished to parties who have a “permissible purpose.” The FCRA has defined “permissible purpose” as:
    • In fulfillment of a court order or a subpoena in relation to a lawsuit
    • In accordance with a written consent by the consumer
    • To persons/parties for use for any of the following instances:
      • In connection with a credit transaction involving the extension of credit to, or the review/collection of the consumer’s account
      • For employment purposes
      • In connection with an insurance underwriting that involves the consumer
      • To determine the consumer’s eligibility for a license or other government benefit where consideration of the consumer’s financial responsibility or status is a requirement
      • To potential investors, servicers or insurers who need to assess the risks associated with the consumer’s existing credit obligation
    • In fulfillment of a request made by a state or local child support agency, provided that:
      • The report is needed to determine the consumer’s ability to make child support payments or calculate the amount of the payments
      • The consumer’s paternity for the child has been established or acknowledged by the consumer
      • The consumer has been given at least ten days’ notice that his/her credit report will be requested
      • The report will be used only for the purpose stated above (a) and not for administrative, civil, or criminal proceedings against the consumer
    • To an agency setting up an initial or modified child support state plan in accordance with the Social Security Act, Section 454.
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    Keep important facts/data private. Anybody who requests for a copy of your credit report but does not fall under the guidelines stated above must obtain your signed consent before the information is released to them. However, if you freely give your details to those who ask, you are putting yourself at the risk of having your credit report pulled without your consent. Make sure you are extra careful about whom you give the following information to:
    • Details about your Credit history such as:
      • Social Security Number
      • Credit card number, including the 3- or 4-digit verification number
      • Bank account number
    • Details about your job history such as
      • Place and dates of employment
      • Position occupied
      • Salary
    • Details about your family history such as
      • Birth date and birthplace
      • Parents’ name, especially mother’s middle name
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    Do not disclose private information unless you have made a clear decision to buy. When you go shopping for a car, a new home, or any other big ticket item that you plan to apply financing for, be careful about what forms you fill up. It is very easy to be tempted when you see the merchandise in front of you and the sales agent is at your elbow pressuring you to fill up a form. If you haven’t decided yet whether you are going to purchase the item, avoid filling up any forms because the agents could use the information to pull your credit report. Also make sure that you read the forms very carefully before signing them.
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    Be wary of websites asking for your personal details. Avoid disclosing your information online. Many of these are “phishing” sites and are there for the sole purpose of getting your private information. If you need to key in your personal details, make sure the site is secure; the website will usually indicate if their server is. To further protect yourself, make sure your computer is equipped with a good antivirus program that can detect phishing and unsafe sites. If you currently don’t have one, this is a very good investment that will be worth the expense.
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    Avoid disclosing your information online. If you’re applying for a loan, fill out the forms at the bank - in person - and not online. Most online loan agencies are offshore companies and do not fall under our government’s jurisdiction. It is better to give out your information to a person whom you can see and run after later if you find that they used your information illegally, rather than a website whose origin and real purpose you don’t know.
  6. Image titled Avoid Unauthorized Requests on Your Credit Report Step 06
    Request for a copy of your credit report from all the major credit agencies regularly and review them. Check for unauthorized requests and if you find any, dispute it with the agency. There are penalties for violation of the FCRA and by going after the violators you can protect your information and save your credit score from sliding down.

Sources and Citations

  •[1] - Original source, shared with permission.
  • Fair Credit Reporting Act[2]
  • Social Security - State Plan for Child and Spousal Support[3]

Article Info

Categories: Credit and Debt