Who Looks at My Credit Score

If you've ever wondered, "Who looks at my credit score?" we can tell you who does and how it might be affecting you.

Credit scores are far from secret
Think your credit score is private information that only a few are privy to? That may have been the case in the past, but not anymore. Nowadays more and more people want a peek at your credit, and we're not just talking about creditors, either. Here's a list of some of the people who may be taking a look into your credit history:

  • Insurance Companies. The insurance industry has found that it can use credit scores to determine how likely people will be to keep up with insurance premiums. This means that if your credit score isn't up to par, you may find yourself paying more for your insurance, whether it's auto, homeowners or renters.
  • Employers. If you want to work in a bank or another financial institution, you'll probably have to undergo a credit check. It just goes with the territory. But did you know that any employer can require a credit check as a condition of employment? It's true, and more and more employers are exercising this right. Why? Because your credit history shows how responsible you've been with your money and, by extension, how responsible you can be expected to be on the job.
  • Landlords. Need to rent some new digs? Then be prepared to agree to yet another credit check. Your credit score can help a landlord to decide if you're someone who's likely to pay on time, or even at all. If you've got late credit card payments or open collections in your past, you may not get the lease that you're after, or you may get the lease but find yourself stuck with a larger deposit than you expected.
  • Utility Companies. Need to establish service with the local utility company? Yep, you guessed it-another credit check. Many utility providers now use a credit check to determine how much you'll need to pay as a deposit. If your credit history is spotty or nonexistent, you'll probably be expected to pay more than someone with a clean credit report.

Your credit score is still yours
It's true that more and more businesses are requiring credit checks, but that doesn't mean that you can't or shouldn't protect your credit report.

By law, employers, potential employers and landlords must get your written consent before obtaining a report, so think carefully before granting someone access to your records.

Undo damage to your credit score
Is a low credit score hurting your employment, housing and other opportunities? Then, do something about it. With a bit of work you can whip your credit score into shape and look as good on paper as you do in person.

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