Pulling Your Credit Without Your Permission

Businessman snooping through documents
Loan officer illegally searching through your credit report.

Has a loan officer pulled your credit report without your knowledge or permission? If so, this is illegal.

Within the past two weeks, three people have told me that a loan officer pulled their credit report without their authorization. They were angry–and rightfully so!

One was a credit union, and when the person complained, the loan officer apologized and said she would work with her manager to try to get the inquiry off her credit report.

The other was one of the big banks, a name you would all know because there is a branch near you. Unfortunately, this loan officer plowed forward, never apologized, never did anything to reverse the inquiry. Why? Because even though the customer was furious, he proceeded to let the loan officer who had performed illegal act to close his loan. In other words, he rewarded the criminal; and in so doing, sent a message that pulling unauthorized credit is an acceptable practice that he should continue doing to others.

I find it interesting that all of these loan officers illegally pulling credit reports did not have to pass a background check or get licensed. This is because there is a gaping loophole in the law: Only mortgage brokers have to go through fingerprinting, background checks, take 20+ hours of classes, pass tests, and be licensed.

Loan officers working at banks and credit unions get to skip all the checks, classes, and licensing.

If you had your credit report pulled without your permission, there are three steps you can and should take:

1) Complain to the loan officer and insist that he or she write you a letter of apology as well as write to the credit bureaus instructing them to remove the inquiry.

2) Don’t trust the loan officer to follow through; send your own letter to the credit bureaus, along with a copy of the apology, instructing them to remove the inquiry.

3) File a complaint with the Consumer Finance Protection Bureau here. The CFPB will follow up with the lender and possibly levy a fine against them.

When we all work together to follow the law, criminals will be forced to clean up their behavior or go out of business.

Available at most fine booksellers.
Available at most fine booksellers.



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