Getting your credit report checked is a pretty common process. It happens every time you apply for a loan, a mortgage, a credit card, or any other form of credit. The people you are applying to borrow from check your credit to see if you are at risk of not paying them back. This is the factor on which lenders base their decision of whether or not you get the loan, mortgage, or credit card, and sometimes on which they base the interest rates by which you will be paying.
Who else checks your credit? Your employer, or a potential employer. These people have access to your credit history because some of them believe that you will handle your job the way you handle your credit, and therefore base how responsible you are on that factor. This can determine whether or not you get an important job.
There is a variety of people who have access to your credit, and these are a couple of the obvious ones. But who of all these are allowed to check your credit score are allowed to check your credit without your permission, and who of them have to have your consent? Most of them do not even have to have your authorization, but only need to have a legitimate business need.
There are certain companies who have the authority to check your credit report if they have a reason to, like banks who need to check and see if you will pay back the loan you applied for, or a credit card company who is looking to see if you will be able to make the monthly payments they require before they activate your credit card account. These people have the right, because you basically give them consent when you apply for that credit. Your rights concerning who sees your credit history and who does not are listed under the Fair Credit Reporting Act.
Potential employers or present employers are allowed access to your credit report as well. However, they are only allowed to access it if you give them consent. This permission can either be given verbally or in writing, but most employers will ask you to give it in writing so that they have proof of your consent.
Other companies will usually ask for your consent. They do not necessarily always need it, but they will ask. This is often done out of courtesy to the person whose credit history they are viewing.
There are others who can access your credit history without your consent, like landlords, insurance companies, companies with which you are applying for government benefits, child support agencies, and other government agencies. Some of these are often limited to only certain parts of your credit history, like your name, address, former address, and past and present employers.