A notation is made on your credit report each time your credit is checked. These notations are called "inquiries" and can be viewed by you each time you pull your report. There are two types of credit inquiries. So-called "hard" credit inquiries are initiated by you when you apply for a credit card, mortgage, auto loan or some other type of credit. An excessive number of hard credit inquiries can cause your credit score to drop. "Soft" credit inquiries, which do not affect your credit score, include regular reviews of your credit by your existing creditors, your own requests for your credit report and more.
Order a copy of your credit report from AnnualCreditReport.com. The site is authorized by the Federal Trade Commission to offer completely free credit reports. Navigate to the site, enter your state, and click on "Request Report" to view and print your credit report. Choose from one of the three nationwide credit bureaus--TransUnion, Experian or Equifax.
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Search the bottom of your report for a list of hard and soft requests for your credit. Look for the name of the company that you suspect may have checked your credit. The date of the request should be listed alongside the inquiry. Keep in mind that your current creditors generally have the right to check your credit at any time.
Contact the company in writing if you did not authorize the inquiry. Lisa Madigan, the Illinois attorney general, says the credit bureaus will not investigate inquiries and you must contact the creditor directly. If applicable, tell the creditor that you did not authorize your credit to be checked and that the company should remove the inquiry from your credit report. Madigan says the credit bureau will remove the inquiry if asked by the creditor.