Who Can Check Your Credit Report? | Refresh Financial
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Who Can Check Your Credit Report?

 Check Your Credit

As a consumer in Canada, you've probably had your credit report checked numerous times. You could be applying for a new credit card, purchasing your first home, or even looking to lease a car. We all know that when we seek new forms of credit, our credit report is reviewed and assessed. So we shouldn't be surprised when a credit card issuer or mortgage provider checks our credit report since they need to know how risky of a lender we are. But did you know that there are other entities who can check your credit report, even if they are not considering lending to you? In the information age, your credit history follows you wherever you go and is something can have a profound impact on your life. So, when are companies able to run a credit check against you?

First, can they run a credit check without your consent?

Surprisingly, the answer is yes. If you enter into a business relationship with a company, it’s taken as implied consent for them to check your credit report. Other scenarios where your credit score is pulled include the following: Applying to rent or buy a home or apartment, applying for a job, or opening a new wireless account.

Some companies may also pre-screen your credit score in order to pre-approve you for credit, although these are not counted as hard credit checks and will not have an impact on your credit report.

What is a soft vs. hard credit inquiry?

A credit inquiry is when a potential lender checks your credit report to determine the level of risk you are as a borrower. An important aspect to remember when it comes to soft and hard credit report inquiries is that soft pulls do not negatively impact your score, whereas a hard inquiry will. Only hard inquiries are listed on your credit report and are available for potential lenders to see.

So, who can pull your credit report?

Landlords and Realtors

You've finally found the perfect apartment to rent. You go to fill out the application when you notice that they are requesting to see your credit information. This practice is becoming more and more popular nowadays as landlords use your credit information to screen for potentially troublesome tenants. Realtors can also check your credit report. These count only as soft inquiries.

Employers

Employers can ask to obtain your credit information when you are applying for a new job. The rationalization is that someone with poor credit might be an irresponsible type of person. It indicates a lack of reliability to employers, which is yet another reason it's so important to build and maintain your credit score. Your next job could depend on it! This type of credit check is a soft inquiry.

Insurance Providers

If you apply for a new policy, your insurance provider might ask if they can see your credit information. A poor credit score can indicate you might not pay your premiums on time. An insurer may also check your credit report to determine if you qualify for potential discounts on your insurance. These are also soft inquiries.

The Government

Different government agencies may access your credit information for various reasons. Perhaps they need information to locate you, or maybe it's part of an investigation. Your credit score can also determine whether or not you are eligible for certain government assistance programs and benefits. Believe it or not, the government can and does access credit information in Canada. it is a soft inquiry.

Collection Agencies

Debt collectors can perform credit pulls as they have essentially bought your debt and need to know the risks that go along with their purchases. These are soft inquiries.

Utility Companies

You may get a soft credit check when you're signing up for your new internet provider or a new wireless phone line. Utility companies use this information to determine whether or not you pay your bills on time. If you struggle poor credit, you might have to put down a deposit first before they open your new account.

Anyone with a Court Order

Although uncommon, court orders can be issued to obtain someone's credit information, providing they make a good enough case for it being necessary, however it's a soft inquiry.

Banks

Banks can check your credit report when you apply for any lending product such as a mortgage, loan or a line of credit. These checks are hard inquiries. Banks can also check your credit score from time to time throughout your relationship so they can know what products to offer you. These are soft inquiries.

 

Loan Lenders

Credit checks from lenders are hard inquiries because they are usually the result of you applying for a loan.

Car Sales

Car dealers can check your credit report if you’re working out financing options with them. These are hard inquiries to approve you for financing.

Yourself

Did you know that you can check your own credit score as many times as you want? Luckily they will be soft inquiries, and won’t damage your score.

*****

As you can see, a poor credit score can affect you in so many ways. The simple act of cleaning up your credit report can have an enormous impact on almost every aspect of your life. If you need to improve your credit score, don't wait any longer. Just get it done! We have one of the easiest ways to improve your credit score:

Refresh Financial credit builder program - cash secured savings loan

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