It is a well known fact that a credit report is one of the most sensitive documents when it comes to personal information of individuals. If a credit report is accessed by an individual who is looking to take advantage of the information in it, then he can cause a lot of damage in the short, medium, and long term.
Moreover, even if tangible damage is not considered, credit reports carry personal information that most individuals like to keep private. In effect, privacy issues combined with personal information in credit reports make these documents highly sensitive to individuals.
This is why most governments have strict laws with regard to restricting accessibility to individuals’ credit reports. Despite these legal restrictions, it is normal for people to worry about their credit reports ending up in the wrong hands.
One of the things that most people wonder about when it comes to their credit reports is whether their employers can access their credit reports. In fact, this is one of the most common questions that employees ask their financial advisors.
The answer to this question is that employers can access credit reports of their employees. However, this access is limited and cannot be implemented without the written consent of the individual in question. What this means is that unless you have given a written consent to your employer allowing his access to your credit report, he would not be able to access it legally.
The same is relevant for individuals who have just applied for a job. Sometimes, potential employers ask to see the individual’s credit report before giving him the appointment.
The reason for this is that credit reports allow employers to see the reliability of the individual and how conscientious he is about his surroundings and responsibilities. While the logic behind such practises is sound, this practise is something that even credit rating organisations do not recommend.
Essentially, if you have applied for a job and are worried about your employer checking your credit report, you can rest assured that this would not be possible without your express written consent.
While it is true that your rights as a consumer and individual are well protected when it comes to your credit reports, there are still loopholes that some people may be able to use to access your credit reports. Fortunately, there is a way through which you can protect yourself from such situations.
The solution is for you to check your credit report at least once every year. The reason for this is that your credit report, apart from carrying your credit history and other similar information, would also hold all the enquiries that have been made for it.
Hence, when you open your credit report, you will see an enquiries section which would hold all the enquiries made by third parties for your credit report in the last two years.
When you go through these enquiries and find certain third parties that you do not recognise then you should immediately report to the relevant authorities of the same. Unauthorised access of your credit report can be a sign of identity theft, which is why you need to prevent it from happening.
It should be mentioned that accessing your own credit report every year is not very expensive. In fact, you are entitled to a copy of your credit report once every year entirely for free.