A young lady recently asked me if an auto dealer was permitted to pull her credit while they were changing her oil. I instantly knew what would be asked next. She explained that while she patiently waited for her oil change to be completed, her serviceman came up to her and introduced her to an auto salesman. The salesman asked her if she was interested in buying a new auto and she said under no circumstance was she interested in buying a new auto. The salesman didn’t want to take no for an answer and started showing her personalized paperwork for a number of different autos including the interest rates and payments. She did her best to ignore the salesman and after a few minutes, he finally left her alone. She became infuriated later in the day when she noticed an email alerting her the auto dealership pulled her credit.
When can an auto dealership pull your credit?
The sad truth is her experience happens thousands of times a day. I’m not saying every auto dealership behaves this way but way too many do. The answer I gave this young lady was the dealership did not have a permissible purpose to pull her credit for a simple oil change. She was getting an oil change, not applying for credit. My answer may have been different if she was inquiring about a new auto purchase during her oil change.
The Fair Credit Reporting Act, commonly called the FCRA is the law that in part details who and under what circumstances creditors may pull a consumer’s credit report. In short, a creditor must have a permissible purpose to legally pull a consumers credit report. I will go into more detail about this in a later blog. As related to this blog, the FCRA does not include an oil change as a permissible purpose for a creditor to pull a consumers credit report.