Article 43


Legal Uses of Your Credit Card

Once upon a time, credit reports were used only for credit. Now, companies use it for a lot of decisions. FIND OUT what is legal and what is not.

Companies use it to decide whether to give you a job. Insurers use it to set your insurance premiums. Before long, I wouldn’t be surprised if people start using it before blind dates! (Oh wait, that’s what Facebook is for).

That last one was a little tongue in cheek because, by law, you aren’t allowed to pull someone’s credit to see if they’d be a good date. The law that prevents that is the FAIR CREDIT REPORTING ACT, which specifically states what a credit report can be used for:

· Applications for credit, insurance, and rentals for personal, family or household purposes.

· Employment, which includes hiring, promotion, reassignment or retention. A CRA may not release a credit report for employment decisions without consent.

· Court orders, including grand jury subpoenas.

· “Legitimate” business needs in transactions initiated by the consumer for personal, family, or household purposes. (litigation is not legitimate by 3rd parties)

· Account review. Periodically, banks and other companies review credit files to determine whether they wish to retain the individual as a customer.

· Licensing (professional).

· Child support payment determinations.

· Law enforcement access: Government agencies with authority to investigate terrorism and counterintelligence have secret access to credit reports.


Posted by Elvis on 02/24/10 •
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