Your credit score is likely the last thing you are thinking about when looking for a job. However, it may be a good idea to start. While there are those who will argue that a credit score has nothing to do with their ability to perform their job, there are employers that disagree. Many companies will run credit checks on at least some, if not all, of their job candidates.

Why would an employer want to know about your credit history? It is a way to measure a person’s sense of responsibility and financial stability. Therefore, the results of a credit background check can limit your job opportunities if your credit report has issues. While there is a legitimate debate over whether or not this is fair, especially when there are so many uncontrollable circumstances can damage credit, they are used as an evaluation tool.

Nevertheless, especially in very competitive job fields, employers do need a way to distinguish between otherwise highly qualified candidates. If a person is simply not qualified for the job, there is a long list of reasons not to hire them. But, when there are multiple equally qualified candidates, all well suited for the job, employers will often use a credit check to help make the final decision.

That said, there are certain categories of businesses, because of the very nature of the jobs, will regularly run credit checks. These will include banks, financial institutions, the government, and others. In these instances, it is an issue of security and protecting against potential embezzlement or fraud. These employers have a responsibility to perform their due diligence.

There is a lot of information that a potential employer can learn from an employment-screening credit report. They can determine how much credit you have, the types of credit you use, how much of your credit is being used, and your payment habits. Essentially, employers will receive all the information which makes up your credit score, just without the actual score. But, they can’t receive this data without your permission. They must have your written authorization before running the report.

Do you still have questions? What haven’t we covered yet that is important to you? If you would like to talk about credit reports in employment screening, or a related topic, please contact us.

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