Who Can Check Your Credit History?

A check of your credit history will show all the borrowing you have done, any negative actions such as late payments or charge offs, and your credit score. This is important, personal information, so it’s vital that you know who can check your credit history.

Who Maintains Your Credit History?

Before exploring who can check your credit history, it is important to understand where your credit history comes from, who maintains it and what it means.

Your credit history is a record of your borrowing life from credit cards to auto loans to home mortgages. Every time you are extended credit - whether it be from a credit card company, a store charge card, an auto dealer, a bank or a mortgage lender - that information is reported to the credit reporting bureaus. Additionally, if you are late on payments, miss payments or default on a loan, that is reported as well.

Your credit history is maintained by the three primary credit reporting bureaus: Esperian, Equifax and TransUnion.

Using your credit history, the Fair Isaac Corp., which is independent of the credit reporting bureaus, applies a propriety formula to calculate a FICO credit score between 300 and 800. The median FICO credit score in the United States is 720; 760 is excellent and will qualify you for a lender’s best rates; 620 and below is poor and will classify you as a subprime borrower.

You Can Check Your History

By law, your are entitled to one from credit report each year from one of the three credit reporting bureaus. You can see what lenders see. In addition, if you need to see your credit history more than once a year, you can buy a report for about $30. You have the right to see your own credit history and credit score.

Lenders Can Check

If you apply for a loan or for any type of borrowing, the lender is entitled to approach the credit reporting bureaus and request your credit report. This can include a bank, credit union, mortgage lending company, home finance company, credit card companies, auto dealers and more. The key is that the lender has a legitimate business relationship with you. If this can be documented, for example through a loan application, they can look at your credit history.

Landlords Can Check

When you apply to rent an apartment or home, you are, in essence, borrowing the use of the home for the length of the lease with a promise to pay monthly for the use of it. An application for lease would be considered a legitimate business relationship and allow a landlord to request and receive your credit history.

Insurers Can Check

The Fair Credit Reporting Act, which governs who can see your credit report, allows insurance companies to look. Again, they must have legitimate business reasons, such as your filing an application with them, but with that, they can check your credit history and score.


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