In addition to regular credit reports, there are some special credit reports that contain different types of information. One type -- investigative reports -- include personal information that is of interest to insurers and employers.
Unlike regular credit reports, investigative reports include information on your:
This information is gathered from interviews with third parties such as your neighbors or friends.
(To learn what is in regular credit reports, see Credit Report Basics.)
Creditors do not usually request these investigative reports. Insurers and employers are the most likely to ask for them.
There are a slew of rules that apply to regular credit reports, limiting who can request them and when. (To learn about these rules, see Who Can Look at Your Credit Report.) However, because the information in investigative reports is personal and invasive, additional rules apply.
If a business or person requests an investigative report, it must:
For example, businesses that procure employees for prospective employers, such as headhunters, must get the consumer’s consent before conducting the investigation and again before telling the employer the results.
However, if an employer requests a report to investigate employee misconduct or violations of law (rather than creditworthiness, standing, or capacity), it does not have to give you advance notice of its request for the report.
Learn more about credit reports, credit scores, and how to get them.
This is an excerpt from Credit Repair, by Margaret Reiter and Robin Leonard (Nolo).