Collection agency may request a report without your permission

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Dear Experian,

Can a collection agency request your credit history without your consent? I have one on my report under “inquires shared with others” in which I did not consent.



Dear LDA,

Although there are restrictions on who is allowed to access your credit report, your permission is not required in all cases. When you owe a debt, the creditor has the right to check your credit report without your consent.

Therefore, when a collection agency purchases a debt that you owe, they may check your credit report periodically. Obtaining your report for the purposes of collecting a debt is considered a permissible purpose under the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA).

In the case of a collection account, which is a debt you owe, the record of the inquiry will be shared with other lenders. Other types of inquiries that are not the result of your application for credit may only be shown to you on your personal credit report.

For example, inquiries for prescreened credit offers and portfolio review by your existing lenders will appear only on your personal report.

The only instance in which your explicit, written permission is required is for employment purposes.

Thanks for asking.

The “Ask Experian” team

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