How to Pull Other People's Credit Reports

A credit report documents a person's history of financial payments and debt management. The information in a credit report is used to determine your credit score. Lenders and landlords commonly use credit reports to determine whether a person should be issued a loan or accepted as a tenant. Prospective employers are increasingly examining credit reports before hiring new employees, especially in jobs involving handling large amount of cash or secretive information. You can pull another person's credit report only if you have his or her permission.

Obtain written permission from the person whose credit report you want to check. Checking a credit report without permission, even if by accident such as ordering the wrong person's credit report, can make you liable for damages.

Request identifying information from the person whose credit report you are checking, including full legal name, address, prior address and Social Security number.

Order a credit report from one or more of the three major credit bureaus (Experian, Equifax and TransUnion). If you are requesting a credit report for a potential employee, be sure to notify the credit bureau because the credit report you will receive does not include the employee's birthday, to minimize the risk of age discrimination.

Alert the person if any of the information you discovered in the credit report caused you to decide against him, whether it is not issuing a loan, not hiring him or rejecting him as a potential tenant. You are legally responsible for doing this so the person can challenge any information in the credit report that is wrong.