So you’ve decided that it’s time to look for a new job. You’ve already updated up your resume and got your references in order, but have you checked your credit report? According to Credit Karma’s Chief Consumer Advocate, Bethy Hardeman, nearly half of employers scope out the credit reports of job candidates before making a hiring decision.
“[Asking for an applicant’s credit report] puts you in a difficult situation,” Hardeman shared, according to Glamour.
According to Credit.com, reviewing the credit report of a potential new hire has been banned in California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Hawaii, Illinois, Maryland, Nevada, Oregon, Vermont and Washington. However, if you’re unfortunate enough to live where credit reports are not off limits in these job-hunting streets, know that in the event a potential employer chooses not to hire you based on the report, they’re required to present you with a copy prior to denying you the opportunity, which according to the Fair Credit Reporting Act, affords the applicant the opportunity to correct any errors found in the report. You should also know that employers are required to ask your permission before running the report. Hardeman recommends asking how findings from the report will be used in the hiring process prior to granting permission.
“You should also ask your prospective employer whether the credit check is actually required. Ask how the information will be used in the hiring decision before you agree,” she advised.
Typically, hiring managers scan credit reports in search of red flags that point to criminal, untrustworthy or irresponsible behavior. To know what you’re up against, Hardeman recommends reviewing your credit report before applying for a new job.
“This gives you the chance to make sure your credit report doesn’t have any inaccurate or fraudulent account information,” she said.