• June 09, 2016
  • Blog

Can I Check My Soon-To-Be-Ex-Husband’s Credit While We Are Getting Divorced?

Q: My husband and I are in the midst of a very acrimonious divorce. I suspect he’s hiding financial information from me. Can I check his credit reports, and if so how?

A: No, you can’t check your spouse’s (or ex’s) personal credit reports. In order to request a consumer report on someone else, you must have what’s called a “permissible purpose” under federal law, and marriage or divorce is not one of them. (I imagine your husband isn’t trying to get a job, loan or insurance from you, which rules out the other common reasons for checking credit.)

If he owns a small business, though, you can check his firm’s commercial credit reports without his permission or knowledge.Business credit reports and scores are not regulated by the federal Fair Credit Reporting Act, the law that restricts access to consumer reports.

Despite the fact that it is illegal to request someone else’s credit reports without a legitimate reason for doing so, some individuals have obtained their spouse’s reports illicitly. Usually they get access to them online. Because they have intimate knowledge of their partner (or ex partner’s) personal and financial information, they are able to answer the security questions used to screen online requests for credit reports.

Don’t do it. It’s illegal, and it sounds like your divorce is messy enough as it is

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