Did you know your credit history can hurt your job search? That’s right. Poor credit can come back to haunt you during your job search.
Thanks to the Fair Credit Reporting Act, an employer cannot review your credit report without your consent. Many require that you allow them to view it prior to interviewing or receiving an offer. Good news: several states prohibit employer credit checks or restrict how the information can be used. Check with your state’s/municipality’s labor department to see what they cover.
Why do they do this?
Many employers believe a good credit/payment history demonstrates responsibility, organization, and dependability. The opposite may indicate to an employer that you’re a poor fit for the organization.
What do they see?
According to our pals at NerdWallet an employer report does not show your credit score, account numbers, birth year, or marital status but doesn’t show a modified version of the report including credit usage and payment history.
Good news – An employer credit check is considered a ‘soft inquiry’ and won’t negatively impact your score.
So what can you do to prepare?
📋Check your credit report and know what it contains. Find an error? Contact that reporting agency to address the issue and file a dispute.
📞If you’re concerned something on your report is going to be a problem for the employer, speak to them about it in advance. Minimize the drama and stick to the facts when explaining what’s going on. That’s much better than letting them find out on their own and might mitigate the issue.
📆Start or continue the habit of on-time payments
⬇️Minimize credit usage whenever possible (experts recommend keeping it under 30%)
📁Keep track of your credit history and your score.