If you're interested in knowing what your husband's financial situation is, you can inspect his credit report, sometimes known as running a credit check. While you cannot simply run a credit check on anyone you wish, including your spouse, you can ask your husband for permission to inspect his report.
All consumers who have used credit have at least one credit report. There are three consumer credit reporting agencies that maintain these reports: TransUnion, Experian and Equifax. These companies collect information about each consumer and that person's history with credit. These companies create reports for individual consumers, not couples, so even if you get married, you and your husband's credit reports remain separate.
The Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) is a federal law that governs the use of credit reports and credit information. The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) reports that only people with a legitimate business need, such as a creditor, landlord or other business, can look at your credit report without your express written permission. Everyone else, including your spouse, must get your express written permission to look at the information on your credit report.
If you want to inspect your husband's credit report, one way to do it is to submit a written request to the credit reporting agency whose report you wish to inspect. You have to get your husband's written permission, and each agency requires you to submit the proper form, which includes your husband's signature and permission, before it allows you to inspect the report. The agency may require you to pay a fee.
If you want to look at your husband's credit report, the best way to do it is to ask your husband to get his report for you. The FCRA grants each consumer the right to obtain a copy of his three credit reports once a year for free. Your husband can easily get his credit report and let you see it without going through the process of getting him to grant you permission. Go to the FTC-approved website AnnualCreditReport.com to get a free copy of your reports each year.
- Federal Trade Commission: A Summary of Your Rights Under the Fair Credit Reporting Act
- Federal Trade Commission: Using Consumer Reports: What Employers Need to Know
- Annual Credit Report
- Report to Congress. "Under Section 318 and 319 of the Fair and Accurate Credit Transaction Act of 2003." Accessed October 8, 2020.
- Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. "Common Errors People Find on Their Credit Report - and How to Get Them Fixed." Accessed October 8, 2020.
Roger Thorne is an attorney who began freelance writing in 2003. He has written for publications ranging from "MotorHome" magazine to "Cruising World." Thorne specializes in writing for law firms, Web sites, and professionals. He has a Juris Doctor from the University of Kansas.