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A Few Facts About Employment Credit Checks

Posted on May 13, 2011

It’s becoming common knowledge that employers include credit checks as part of the application process. However, there’s also some misinformation being spread about how employment credit checks affect you. Get the facts on credit checks before you go job hunting so you know what to expect.

Employers don’t check your credit score. One of the biggest myths out there regarding employment credit checks is that employers check your credit score. This simply isn’t true. Employers check your credit report, which is a document that contains your credit history over the last seven to ten years. They’re not looking to see if you have good credit or bad credit. Instead, they’re looking to see if there are specific items on your credit report that could affect your job performance.

Not all employers check credit. Not every employer has a need to check your credit. Employers most often check credit for executive positions and positions where you’ll be dealing directly with money. If an employer needs to check your credit to continue the application process, you’ll know about it ahead of time.

Employers that check credit don’t necessarily check for all applicants. Just because your friend tells you he had a credit check with an employer for a certain position doesn’t mean you’ll have one, too. Remember that employers typically check for specific positions, so if you’re not applying for a position that requires a credit check, there’s a good chance you won’t have to go through credit screening.

You have to give your permission before an employer can check your credit. By law, employers are required to get your written permission to check your credit report. They’re not allowed to access your credit report if you don’t give the ok. If you have something negative on your credit report that could affect your ability to get a job, bring it up to your potential employer when they ask you to for permission to check your credit. Being proactive could help your job prospect.

Your current employer might check your credit. Employment screens aren’t limited to jobs you’re applying for now. Your current employer might do a credit check if you’re up for promotion, especially to a top-level position, or if you’re up for a raise. Your creditor will typically need to get your permission before doing this credit check, unless you signed a blanket waiver that lets your employer check your credit at any time.

Employment credit checks are perfectly legal. Though a few legislatives have discussed a law that keeps employers from checking your credit, there currently is no federal law against employment credit checks. It’s wise to check your own credit before you apply for a job that way you know if there’s anything on there, like bankruptcy or serious delinquency, that could prevent you from getting the job.

Credit repair may be necessary to improve your credit so you can get a good job. You can repair your credit on your own, or go through a credit repair company. Sometimes hiring a knowledgeable company proves beneficial because the company has experience helping others improve their credit.

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