You’ve been applying for jobs for several months and you finally get called in for an interview. However, your excitement quickly fades once you realize a credit check will be part of the decision-making process. If you’re interviewing for a job that requires a credit check, you’re probably worried about what your future employer may see in your report. The good news is, your interviewer will not be able to view the most sensitive information that usually appears in a traditional credit report. Employers receive an amended version of your report, called an employment credit report.
The bad news is, there are still some items that can be seen and that may have a negative impact on your chance of snagging the job. Here are a few things to be aware of, as well as what employers can and cannot see in your report.
1. Permission must be obtained
First of all, know that an employer may not access your credit report without your written permission. The Fair Credit Reporting Act has this rule in place to protect your information. Only certain businesses and individuals are allowed to view your report in certain situations outlined by the act. Viewing your report in the absence of a legal basis is called impermissible purpose.
2. Your credit score will not be seen
If your credit score is not that great, you may not have to be too concerned when it come to the employee credit check. A potential employer will only see your credit report, not the credit score. However, payment history can be seen. Consequently, if you have a habit of paying your bills after they’re due, this may affect your chance of getting the job. An employer may conclude that someone who consistently makes tardy payments will be irresponsible in other areas. Late payments are even more likely to hurt you if you’re applying for a job that requires you to manage money.
3. Your spouse’s information is excluded
No information about your spouse will be added to the credit report. Only your information will be listed and analyzed. Data that can be seen includes your home address, other names used, bankruptcies, and work history. So don’t lie about places you’ve worked because it may come back to bite you later.
4. Employment suggestions are not made
Credit reporting agency Experian says employment credit reports do not include suggestions as to whether or not an employer should hire or promote a candidate based on the contents of the credit report. Experian says it actually discourages employers from making hiring decisions based solely on a candidate’s credit report. So that’s (hopefully) one less thing you’ll have to worry about.
5. You may be entitled to a free copy of your credit report
If anything in your employment credit report causes an employer to deny you the job, you are entitled to a free copy of your report. The employer must also provide you with a copy of your consumer rights.