As part of our Q&A series, we are sharing some of the consumer questions we get on our blog and our answers, including some key takeaways. In this post, we address a question about credit checks. Find out if a business can run a credit check on you without your consent.
Q. I was just wondering if it is legal to do a credit inquiry without permission or consent? My boyfriend and I were looking to buy a truck from an auto dealership and they sent us a couple of options, but we didn’t like any of them. During that time, they asked for my driver’s licence. I told them several times not to check my credit until we agreed on a car and moved forward with the deal. They agreed…a couple of weeks later I see a credit inquiry on my credit report without my consent or written permission. I have no idea why the inquiry was made. Are they allowed to do this? What actions can I take?
A. Hello and thank you for contacting Consumer Protection BC. Nobody can access your credit report without your consent. Anyone who wants to view your credit report must be able to prove that you have given them permission. You may want to start by asking the dealership about the issue and explain to them that you do not believe you provided consent. You may also want to contact both Equifax and TransUnion to confirm the request was made by the dealership. If you still have concerns and believe the request was made without consent, submit a complaint to our office for our review.
Nobody can access your credit report without your consent. Information from your credit report is used to determine your credit score. With your permission, businesses, organizations and individuals use your credit report or score to help make lending decisions about you.
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About Consumer Protection BC
We are responsible for regulating specific industries and certain consumer transactions in British Columbia. If your concern is captured under the laws we enforce, we will use the tools at our disposal to assist you. If we can’t help you directly, we will be happy to provide you with as much information as possible. Depending on your concern, another organization may be the ones to speak to; other times, court or legal assistance may be the best option. Explore our website at www.consumerprotectionbc.ca.