As a consumer either gainfully employed, looking for new employment or entering the working world, you must be aware of the information contained in your credit report and other background reports about you because your current or potential employer can use it as part of your employment background check. Under the Fair Credit Reporting Act (“FCRA”) employers are allowed to access your credit history for employment screenings and the information contained in your report can most certainly affect your ability to be hired for the job.
Under recent amendments to the FCRA, which I covered in detail in a previous post, potential employers must have your express permission to access your credit file. When applying for a new job or gainfully employed in your current one, an employer will likely provide you with paperwork to sign, granting your permission to pull a copy of your report. Refusing to allow an employer to review your credit history may cost you the job and the information contained your report may cost you to job too! So prior to searching for employment, make sure you know what’s on your report and begin taking the steps to clear up the information that could be hurting you.
It is important to understand, that the report an employer can access is not the same report you can request on yourself. Because an employer is only allowed to look at your credit or background history, it is not provided with a copy of your credit score. Your employment potential should have nothing to do with your score. Also, unlike credit applications, employment applications do not negatively impact your score.
Should an employer decide not to hire you based on the information contained in your report, it must provide you with notice under the new amendments to the FCRA. Your failure to be hired allows you to receive a free copy of your credit report much like how a credit denial entitles you to a free report. If you did not know what was on your report prior to applying for a job, use this opportunity to find out and make the necessary corrections so you are in a better position the next time around.
The moral of the story is, your credit report can and most likely will affect your chances of being hired. If you are looking to get hired, make the effort to improve your credit. Try to make all of your future payments on time and pay down as much of your credit card balances as you can afford.
If you are having problems with your credit report and need advice or assistance in handling these issues, contact SmithMarco, P.C. for a free case review.