Inquiry from leasing company cannot be removed

Dear Experian,

A leasing company pulled a credit report on my wife and me without our authorization. How do we have that inquiry removed from our record, and what recourse do we have against the leasing company?



Dear ALJ,

The federal Fair Credit Reporting Act allows credit grantors with a permissible purpose to request a copy of your credit report. The law also requires that your personal credit report list all organizations that have requested it, so the inquiry can’t be removed.

Businesses do not have to have your permission to obtain a credit report if they have a permissible purpose under the FCRA. However, most do notify you in the application form that by signing it, you are giving them permission to review your credit history.

The only exception is when a report is used for employment purposes, in which case written permission must be obtained.

If you jointly applied for a lease, the leasing company had a permissible purpose under federal law to review both your credit report and your wife’s report.

It does not sound as if it applies in this situation, but it is possible that the leasing company sent a “presecreened” lease offer. If so, the inquiries will be “soft,” meaning they will appear only in your personal credit reports and will not be shared with lenders.

If you have had no business dealings with this leasing company, you may want to contact them directly in order to obtain further information about the specific nature of their request.

Thanks for asking.

- The “Ask Experian” team

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