Thursday, October 16, 2003

Can I Give a Copy of a Credit Report to a Customer?

If you deny credit to a customer, that customer has a right to a free copy of his credit report. This allows the customer to check his credit for errors or inaccuracies that negatively impact his credit, ensure that there has been no fraudulent activity related to credit and make arrangements to repair any problems. Customers can obtain their free credit report from you or from any of the three major credit bureaus (Experian, Equifax or TransUnion).

Customer's Right

    If you denied credit to your customer, he has the right to request his credit report for free. Customers can do this by contacting any of the three major credit bureaus. As of 2011, there are no laws stating that you, as a lender, cannot provide a copy of the credit report to your customer as well. In some states, you may have to provide the exact credit score to your customer when you deny him a loan.

Identity Theft

    If you choose to give a customer a copy of her credit report after denying her credit, you should verify that you are giving it only to the customer herself. If thieves obtain access to a customer's credit report, they can easily mine it for sensitive data. Therefore, do not issue credit reports to people claiming to be relatives of the customer or to people who cannot provide identification proving they have a right to see the credit report.


    The credit report you obtain when you pull a customer's credit report is not exactly the same as the one he gets from the credit bureau. Although both reports contain the same information, your report is organized differently and contains information specific to lenders, such as the customer's bankruptcy risk and lending risk scores. The customer may not be able to read the report you give him as easily as the report he gets from the credit bureau.

Fair Credit Reporting Act

    Under the Fair Credit Reporting Act, it is illegal to refuse to furnish the customer's credit report if she requests it after being denied credit. However, you may disclose to the customer your concerns about her getting a credit report from you rather than from the credit bureau and suggest that she get it from them instead. If the customer still wants to get the credit report from you after this disclosure, you must give it to her.


Post a Comment