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Can an Employer Really Look at Your Credit Score?

March 5th, 2015 · 1 Comment

Employers checking curriculum vitae

If you are losing out on jobs that fit your educational and employment background, the problem may not be your qualifications. With so many qualified job candidates to choose from, many employers are relying on a number of other criteria to make their hiring decisions. Specifically, some employers look at your credit history as well as your employment experience and educational background.

While a would-be employer cannot actually see your numerical credit score, they can take a look at your credit history. They can see the types of accounts you have opened, from bank loans and mortgages to credit cards. They can also see the date you opened each account, along with the outstanding loan balance on each one.

Employers can also view the inquiry information on your credit report, including the names of companies that have requested your report within the last two years. That means a potential employer will know if you took out a mortgage, requested a car loan or applied for a new credit card.

Last but not least, potential employers can also view any collections history you might have. Those public records could include any judgments made against you, as well as bank liens and bankruptcy information.

You might not think that your credit history would be anyone’s business but your own, but employers would beg to differ. The company could argue that an employee with a history of bankruptcy and financial problems would be more likely to steal from the company. If you are applying for a position that involves handling money or has a great deal of financial responsibility, you can be almost certain the employer will check your credit history.

Even if the position you are applying for does not involve handling money, the company might worry that financial problems will distract you from your job. There is evidence to suggest that this is true, and it is one more reason many employers routinely pull credit reports for job applicants. If you have had credit problems in the past but are now cleaning up your act, it is best to be up front with potential employers. The hiring manager will appreciate your honesty, and that could improve your chances of landing the job.

Tags: credit and debt

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