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Your Credit Report and the Job Application

Preparing your application for the perfect job is a vital step to landing an interview, but it is important to consider your credit report and make sure it is in good condition before your submit the application for the job you want.  Considering that most employers today are taking a long hard look at your credit report as part of the application process, focusing your attention on the state of your credit report is now more important that ever.

Studies show that almost 50% of employers want to take a look at your credit report and conduct a background check prior to extending you an offer for employment.  Employers want to know everything about your credit history from whether or not you pay your bills, to where you have lived, to what type of financial position you are in.  However, there is good news for job applicants, the Fair Credit Reporting Act (“FCRA”) protects your during the background check and employment process.  The FCRA prohibits employers from accessing your report or conducting a background check without your express written permission.

Employers are looking into your credit report because when a company makes the decision to hire you, it wants to know you are a trustworthy and responsible employee, and these qualities that can be reflected from your credit report.  If you know your credit report going to be reviewed by a potential employer, take the following precautions to ensure you don’t lose out on a job because of what an employer may see.

First and foremost, make sure your report is accurate.  Pulling a copy of your report before submitting a job application will ensure you know what a potential employer will be seeing.  Take the time to clean up any errors on your report.  If your credit report reflects inaccurate information, dispute the information with the credit reporting agencies under the FCRA.  The dispute process takes 30 days.  If your report is accurate with a decent amount of negative accounts, try explaining the inaccuracies to your potential employer prior the employer reviewing your report.  Being honest with a potential employer about any negative information, will help to alleviate any surprise the employer will have when pulling your report.  If you are concerned your report may stand in the way of being hired for the job, try including an explanatory statement in your cover letter about the state of your credit report.  This will open the door for a conversation with an employer about why your report looks the way it does.    

If you feel your rights have been violated during the job application process and you would like to speak with a licensed attorney, contact SmithMarco P.C. for a completely free case review.  

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