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Can Your Employer Get a Copy of Your Credit Report?

An employer can request a copy of your credit report, but cannot receive one unless you sign permission for them to do so. If you choose not to give your permission, however, this might be basis for your employer to terminate you. If you do, having bad credit can affect your potential new job, or can send your employer’s opinion of you plummeting. If your credit is good, however, you don’t need to worry about either of those scenarios.

Bad credit can cost you your current job and limit your ability to find a new one. Many employers now look at credit reports as a character judgment, rightly or wrongly. Ironically, if you’ve lost your job and are looking for a new one, you might be falling behind on your bills and your credit is starting to look shabby. If this is the case, you might be able to explain to a prospective employer what is going on. They might be more understanding than you think. Obviously, the fact that you are either relying on unemployment insurance to get by or do not receive it at all and are just scraping up enough for groceries, means that some of your credit or utility bills might fall by the wayside. Employers understand that. What they WON’T understand is a pattern of negative credit hits, late payments, foreclosures or bankruptcies – especially if it appears that you’ve made no attempt to clear these matters up.

A current employer who is suddenly asking for a credit report might just be covering their bases against liability, especially if you are in a position that gives you access to customer or company funds. If it turns out later that there was malfeasance and you come under investigation, and your company never used a credit report as a basis for a reference check, they may be held liable for negligence.

In order to ensure that you have a better shot at either a new job or keeping your current one, it is vitally important that you check your credit reports, now. Get copies from the three major reporting agencies (Experian, Equifax and TransUnion) and make sure any incorrect information is removed. Use a form letter like that provided by Credit Elves, and follow their concise instructions on how to best approach both the reporting agencies and creditors. Get any out of date information removed, and make sure no one is using your credit for their own, by checking every charge and every date against your own records. Pay off any debts that are legitimate, after contacting that creditor to see if you can get the debt whittled down to something more manageable. Make sure your creditors know you are out of a job (if you are) and how long it will before they see their money. This might buy you a little time in getting your credit report and score to a more respectable level. Get your results in writing, and if you are turned down for a job because of bad credit, be sure to ask if you may reapply after your credit score has come back up.

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