Only authorized individuals, companies or agencies can view a person's credit balances, and most can only do so with permission from the account holder, according to CreditCard.com. However, an individual who knows the cardholder's user name and password could potentially access the balance information online, without the cardholder's knowledge.
The Fair Credit Reporting Act of 1970 restricts a person from accessing a credit report, which shows credit card balances, unless the account holder gives explicit permission in writing or unless there is a legitimate need to view the information, explains CreditCard.com. Allowable reasons include court-ordered access, a past-due balance with a creditor, an insurance company or government agency approving someone for services, and a landlord or retailer considering whether to extend credit or housing. Child-support enforcement agents or other state officials are also allowed to view a person's credit report to determine the amount of child support a person can afford to pay.