Unauthurized Credit Inquires

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claudia
Posts: 85
Joined: Tue Oct 14, 2014 1:21 pm

Unauthurized Credit Inquires

Post by claudia »

Happy Friday! I have a question and hope you guys can provide some feedback

My husband and I signed up "ProtectMyID" service for free through an insurance company. This morning we received an alert.

The alert says "AMEX has requested a copy of your Credit Report. This means that a new inquiry also known as "hard" or voluntary inquiries, was generated when you authorized the company listed to request a copy of your credit report."

We do have an Costco AMEX card that we use daily and pay off the balance by the end of each month. I am just curious to know why they wanted to run our credit reports and more importantly, we did not authorize them to run the reports. And we have excellent credit scores. Is this just a common practice by credit card company? Should I be alert?
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nordlead
Posts: 739
Joined: Thu Sep 12, 2013 9:09 am

Re: Unauthurized Credit Inquires

Post by nordlead »

According to the FCRA, a person can access your credit report only if:
  • A court has ordered that the credit information be shared.
  • That person is a lender and you are applying for some form of credit. A creditor may also pull your report if you currently have an account open with them or if you have a balance that's past due.
  • The person is working on behalf of an insurance company that's underwriting your insurance or a government agency that is considering giving you a license or other public benefit, such as social services.
  • An individual has requested your report for employment purposes and has obtained your written authorization to view it.
  • A person can prove a legitimate business need to view the report. For example, if a landlord is considering your rental application or a person is working on behalf of a retailer and has accepted a check as a form of payment, he or she can request a copy of your report.
  • You have given clear instructions to the credit reporting agency to release your information to a particular person.
As bolded above, Amex can pull your credit report as often as they want. However, I believe it should have been a soft pull if it was just a review. It is not uncommon for credit card companies to monitor for credit changes.

If you believe the hard pull was in error, then dispute it.
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Pajamas
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Joined: Sun Jun 03, 2012 6:32 pm

Re: Unauthurized Credit Inquires

Post by Pajamas »

It is a common practice because they manage risk and to do that, they have to assess it.

Some credit card agreements even allow them to raise the interest rate on an account in good standing if there is a problem with a different account. That practice is called "universal default" if you want to research it.
Spirit Rider
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Joined: Fri Mar 02, 2007 2:39 pm

Re: Unauthurized Credit Inquires

Post by Spirit Rider »

Pajamas wrote:It is a common practice because they manage risk and to do that, they have to assess it.

Some credit card agreements even allow them to raise the interest rate on an account in good standing if there is a problem with a different account. That practice is called "universal default" if you want to research it.
However, as of the CARD ACT of 2009, they can not use universal default to apply rate increases to your existing balance. They can only apply it to future balances or cancel the card entirely. Even if they cancel the card entirely, the rate must remain the same until the balance is paid off. The only way they can increase rates on an existing balance, is if you are in default on that card.
Spirit Rider
Posts: 13977
Joined: Fri Mar 02, 2007 2:39 pm

Re: Unauthurized Credit Inquires

Post by Spirit Rider »

I would question the alert from ProtectMyID, before AMEX.

I have had AMEX cards for 40+ years. I probably wasn't paying that close attention in the beginning. However, I have paid close attention to my credit reports for at least 20 years. Amex and many other issuers periodically (monthly or quarterly) check my credit reports. They have always been soft pulls. They only time I have received hard pulls is from a new credit card application or requesting a credit line increase.
retiredjg
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Joined: Thu Jan 10, 2008 12:56 pm

Re: Unauthurized Credit Inquires

Post by retiredjg »

Spirit Rider wrote:I would question the alert from ProtectMyID, before AMEX.
I agree. Since you have a relationship with AMEX, they can look at your credit whenever they want. But it should be a soft pull, not a hard pull so I think ProtectMyID probably has that part incorrect.
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