How to Obtain an Individual's Credit Report

Written by michael keenan
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Credit reports show the financial history of an individual regarding their debt payments. You may only obtain an individual's credit report if you have a legitimate interest or are granted permission. A legitimate interest would be a parent checking a minor child's credit report to make sure his identity had not been stolen; lenders and employers can check someone's credit report with her permission if she's applying for a job or a loan.

Skill level:
Moderately Easy


  1. 1

    Request permission from the person whose credit you want to check. This should be put in writing in case of a future dispute.

  2. 2

    Collect the necessary information required to check his credit, including his current address and Social Security number.

  3. 3

    Request a copy of a credit report from one or more of the three major credit bureaus (TransUnion, Experian and Equifax).

  4. 4

    Notify the person if any information in her credit report negatively affects your decision to hire her or grant her a loan. You are legally obligated to state what in the credit report caused you to turn her down so that she can dispute any inaccuracies in her report if the information you found was incorrect.

Tips and warnings

  • If you're requesting a copy of the credit report as a potential employer, be sure to specify that, since the copy of the credit report you receive will not have the person's credit score or birthday on it.
  • It's illegal to check someone's credit without their permission.

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