Who Can Access Your Credit History?

When you apply for a loan or a credit card, one of the most important prerequisites that you would have to meet would be a good credit score. Your credit score would be a score designated to you on the basis of your credit history.

Most people consider their credit history to be an extremely personal aspect of their lives. This is the reason why most people do not like to reveal their credit history freely. However, by law, certain organisations in South Africa have the right to access an individual’s credit history.

At the same time, a person’s credit history is also something that concerns sensitive information about them. What the term sensitive information means here is that the information can be misused by people and is not protected properly.

Knowing who has access to your credit history is one of the things that can help you protect yourself from being a victim. Here is a list of people or organisations that can access your credit history.

1. Current or future business partner:

Whenever a business is supplying products or offering services to an individual or company, they need to be sure that the potential client has the capability to pay them for products supplied or services rendered.

This gives organisations and individuals the right to check the credit report of current or future business clients so as to evaluate whether they are suitable business partners.
2. A lending institution:

The most common use of credit reports is made by banks and similar financial institutions that provide different types of loans to consumers and businesses. It is their prerogative to check the applicant’s credit report to assess his ability to pay back the loan.

In fact, banks and other financial institutions are required to only lend as much money as a borrower can pay back. This is known as responsible lending. This is why such organisations have full access to people’s credit reports.
3. An insurance provider:

Insurance companies, like banks and other financial institutions, take a huge risk when offering their products to individuals. Usually, insurance policies tend to involve large sums of money which makes their susceptibility even more significant.

This is why insurance companies almost always access and evaluate the credit report of their potential customers before offering a quotation to them. In fact, the quotations forwarded by insurance companies usually carry monthly premiums based on the credit report of the individual.

However, it should also be noted that while banks are required to check the credit report of loan applicants, insurance companies do it by choice.
4. Present or potential employer:

If you have applied for a job or are currently employed, then your employer would also have the option of accessing your credit report. However, this is not possible without your written consent for the same.

It should also be mentioned that most credit agencies advise employers not to reject a job applicant on the basis of his credit history.
5. Landlord:

Landlords can also check the credit reports of their tenants to evaluate their ability to pay the rent and their conscientiousness towards making such payments.

You, yourself, also have the option of checking your credit report and it is something that is highly recommended. The reason for this is that if you study your credit report at least once every year, you would be able to improve your score over time.