Are you under the impression that the only people who can see your credit report are the ones you authorize when applying for new credit? That is not exactly the case.

Believe it or not, debt collectors can actually pull your credit report, and they don’t even need your permission to do so.

Even if you work to keep up with your credit report, you might be surprised to find sudden changes that debt collectors might encounter, or even cause themselves.

Who Can Pull My Credit Report?

Creditors usually pull credit reports to gain access to information about people they are considering lending money to. This can often include landlords, employers, insurance companies, government agencies, and utilities providers.

In addition to creditors, debt collectors can also pull credit reports on debtors in an attempt to confirm contact information accuracy. They can also use the information on your credit report to determine the prospects of you making good on the debt.

All of these people who can access your credit report fall into the category of people who you want to see you in a good light, so making sure your report is always pristine is of the utmost importance.

Can Debt Collectors Pulling My Credit Impact My Score?

Unfortunately, debt collectors checking in on your credit report can cause a slight ding to your overall score. To understand precisely how this works, we first need to define and understand how a “hard inquiry” works.

A hard inquiry, also known as a hard pull, occurs when a creditor formally asks to view your credit report.

Because they are involved in almost any credit-related transaction, hard inquiries are usually not a big deal in one-off situations. However, they will remain on your credit report for two years, and if a number of them begin to cluster, they can negatively impact your score.

While hard inquiries stay attached to a credit report for two years, they typically stop affecting the credit score after about one year. They also have a very minimal impact on the score in the first place, but if you are close to qualifying for a loan that you need, every little bit can help get you over the required threshold.

How Can I Protect Myself?

The best way to protect yourself from debt collectors creating hard pulls on your credit report is to avoid having debts enter collections in the first place. Pay your bills on time and make sure you are regularly monitoring your credit report for anything that might have slipped through the cracks.

If you do have collection accounts, be open to working with the collectors to get those accounts resolved in a way that keeps your credit report as clean as possible.

There is also the possibility of a rogue collector attempting to pull your credit for a debt you are not responsible for. Should this happen, you will either catch it yourself during your regular credit report monitoring, or a subscription service you use will alert you. Take the suggested steps to dispute the pull and get it removed as quickly as possible.

The ultimate concern is that a simple oversight today could cost you the ability to get an essential vehicle loan or home mortgage months from now. That would be horrible. To prevent that from happening, make sure that you are doing everything in your power TODAY to avoid any issues.