Can Employers Check Your Employment History: Why Employers Check Your Credit

"With the job market becoming more competitive as the economy drops, it’s more important than ever to have an edge over the next person."

Lets say you’ve received the job interview of your dreams and aced it. On top of that, the interviewer(s) think you’re a great fit and are anticipating giving you an offer. Before you pop out the champagne and celebrate, you may want to wait for your credit report check to clear first. Most people don’t know this, but unless you’re applying for a position in Washington or Hawaii, most companies will perform a credit report check before giving an offer to a new employee.

You may be wondering why employers perform credit report checks. It comes down to these three reasons:

  • Your credit report lists your previous employers. With this information the employer should be able to confirm your employment history and identity.
  • Depending on the position that you’re applying for, your credit history will, unfortunately, define how well you can be trusted with valuables. Again, this specific reason would be if you’re applying for a position that requires handling large sums of money or is susceptible to theft/bribery, such as diamond appraisers or financial executives.
  • Overall, studies show employers believe there is correlation with how responsible a person is with their personal finances and their work ethic. If you’re sloppy with how you manages your funds, the employers will believe the quality of a your work will be sub-par as well.

Due to federal law, the (potential) employer is required to provide you a copy of your report, which agency generated your report, and told they have the right to dispute. You will most likely never hear this reason given to you because most employers would rather make the process less complicated for themselves. So, simply saying you weren’t the right fit or that they found someone more qualified is the typical excuse.

Now, you do have rights based on the Fair Credit Report Act (FCRA). Before an employer can run a credit check, you must authorize it by providing written consent. If the whole credit report check ordeal makes you uncomfortable, then you have the option of rejecting the request to run it. If you decide to not authorize the credit report check, just be aware that you will most likely have no chance of getting the job offer.

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