4 People Who Can Look at Your Credit Report

A credit score is an important, if not the most important, aspect of your finances. This three-digit figure is a representation of your financial performance that many organizations and institutions use to judge your responsibility. In essence, the higher your credit score, the more comfortable they will feel doing business with you.

One of the most common organizations that looks at your credit score is banks. When you are applying for a loan, lenders will inspect your credit score and determine whether you will qualify for a loan. If you have a less-than-spotless score, you may get a loan amount that is less than you wanted or receive a high interest rate. But lenders are not the only organizations that can look at your credit report. Here are a few other organizations that can:

Landlord
When you are applying for an apartment or condo, your landlord may ask you for a few items in order to make sure you will be a good tenant. Some of these items may include references, pay stubs and your credit report. They will request to see your credit in order to determine whether you are likely to be punctual in paying your rent. Every landlord is different, but this is most common with apartment buildings run by real estate companies. A strong credit score is important in this situation because your new landlord could knock a few dollars off your security deposit or move-in fees.

Insurance companies
Insurers will look at your credit report to judge whether you will be constantly filing claims. If they see that you have opened several lines of credit in a short time period, they may be hesitant to file your claim. In this situation, a high credit score can help lower your premium or interest rate.

Utility providers
When you move into a new apartment and set up utilities – gas, electric or cable – providers may access your report. But before you allow these companies to check out your credit, find out if your state allows it. Some states will not permit utility companies to deny you service if you have poor credit.

Employers
Some organizations can only look at your credit score if you allow them. One that needs your permission to look at your score is a potential employer. An employer will look at your credit report and your financial responsibility in order to determine whether you will bring that same level of ambition to your job. Not every employer bases their entire decision on hiring you through your credit report, but the government or jobs in the financial sector will use it more.

Each of these situations are case by case, but it is not uncommon for any of them to check your credit report. Before they look at this document, call your bank and ask whether this inquiry will be a hard or soft one. Too many hard inquiries could hurt your credit and cause your score to drop down a few points.