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Appendix C to Part 601, Code of Federal Regulations, Fair Credit Reporting
A. Users Must Have a Permissible Purpose
Congress has limited the use of consumer reports to protect consumers' privacy. All users must have a permissible purpose under the FCRA to obtain a consumer report. Section 604 of the FCRA contains a list of the permissible purposes under the law. These are:
In addition, creditors and insurers may obtain certain consumer report information for the purpose of making unsolicited offers of credit or insurance. The particular obligations of users of this "prescreened" information are described in Section V [of Appendix C].
Someone or some entity may only obtain or use your personal credit reports if you give them permission or they have a lawful, permissible purpose as provided by the Fair Credit Reporting Act. The most frequent types of entities that obtain consumer reports are banks, mortgage companies and other lenders and employers (See my page on Background Reports for employment purposes for specific requirements when reports are used for employment purposes.) But there are other permissible purposes provided under the law, as provided below in an excerpt from Appendix C to Part 601, Title 16 , to the Code of Federal Regulations. Absent a permissible purpose under the law, a person or entity obtaining or using a personal credit report on a consumer is subject to penalties and a claim for damages by the consumer.