We often hear about the importance of having good credit, but most people don’t know exactly why it matters. For instance, you may be surprised when, during the application process for a new job, your prospective employer asks your permission to check your credit report.
Let’s eliminate this kind of surprise by explaining exactly who can check your credit.
Perhaps the most obvious type of organization to check your credit is lenders.1 When a lender considers letting you borrow money, they want to get an idea of how likely you are to pay back the loan. And the best way for them to make a sound judgment on this is to check your credit report, which tells them how consistently you have made payments in the past.
While not every lender may check your credit before deciding whether to offer you a loan, this is frequently a key component of their decision-making. Online lenders, credit card companies and banks are all examples of lenders who may check your credit.2
Are you thinking about moving into an apartment or condominium that you plan on renting? If so, be advised that your prospective landlord may check your credit report and score as part of the application process.3 The reason landlords may be interested in this information is that it can give them an idea of how likely you will be to pay your rent on time.
Employers, whether prospective or current, are allowed to pull your credit report in most states.4 The employer must request your permission before accessing your credit report. Further, if information in the report influences a decision that negatively impacts you, the employer must notify you and provide you with a copy of the report.5
Often, insurance companies determine their premium rates in part by looking at your credit history.3 Information in your credit report can help them predict your likelihood of filing an insurance claim, as well as what amount that claim is likely to be.2
Utility and cellphone companies
Utility and cellphone companies may consider your credit in determining whether or not to approve you for service. If your credit history is poor, you may be denied service or have to pay higher rates.3
Now that you know who can check your credit, it’s easy to see how helpful maintaining good credit can be. Keep your eye on our blog (as well as our Facebook and Twitter feeds) for helpful credit tips later this month!