Not Hired? Your Credit Report May Be to Blame

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Surveys show that nearly half of employers conduct credit checks on job candidates, and that one in seven applicants have missed a job opportunity because of the results.

As if job seekers didn’t have enough to worry about — add credit reports to the list.

“Employers’ use of credit checks during the hiring process is legal and fairly common,” The Wall Street Journal says.

How common? About 47 percent of employers screen some candidates with a credit check, it says. Checks are most likely for senior executive positions, and obviously for those with financial responsibilities.

One in seven job seekers have been turned down for a job because of a credit check, the Journal says. Missed payments, delinquencies, foreclosures and liens are all red flags.

Errors on credit reports are common. The Federal Trade Commission says one out of every five people has an error on at least one report, so you should make a habit of checking them and getting mistakes fixed. Consumers can get a credit report for free once a year from each of the three major credit reporting agencies at AnnualCreditReport.com. We lay out how to fix the mistakes and deal with negatives in “How Can I Clean Up My Credit History?

Employers have to get signed permission before pulling a credit report, the newspaper says. If you see that they’re asking, that’s your chance to explain any issues before they find out on their own. You don’t have to go into detail, and don’t have to say anything unless you want to. Employers won’t see your credit scores, by the way, just the reports.

Have you ever had an employer ask to check your credit? Share your story on our Facebook page.

Stacy Johnson

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