Negative Credit Can Affect Your Job Search

Bad credit can affect your ability to get more credit. Did you know it also can affect your ability to get or keep a job? Employers often use a credit report when they hire and evaluate employees for promotion, reassignment, or retention.

The military has been doing this for years for personnel that require a security clearance. They run background checks with local police, the FBI, and financial institutions. The military does not want to grant a security clearance to individuals with a history of bad credit. This would make them a risk of stealing classified material and selling it to cover their debt.

Add in the current sub-prime lending mess and thousands of foreclosures, and you can see why employers are concerned that their new employees have pristine credit. No one wants to hire someone that may be a risk due to huge credit card debt or a mortgage in default.

According to the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA), which is enforced by the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) and your state Attorney General, an employer must get your permission to look at your credit report. If you don?t get a job because of information in your report, the employer must show you the report and tell you how to get a copy from the consumer reporting company. There is no charge for the report if you request it within 60 days of getting a notice that you did not get the job.

The FCRA requires each of the nationwide consumer reporting companies ? Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion ? to provide you with a free copy of your credit report, at your request, once every 12 months. To order your free annual report from one or all national consumer reporting companies, the annual credit report web site, call toll-free 877-322-8228, or complete the Annual Credit Report Request Form and mail it to Annual Credit Report Request Service, P. O. Box 105281, Atlanta, GA 30348-5281. Do not contact the three nationwide consumer reporting companies individually. They provide free annual credit reports only through 877-322-8228, their web sites, and Annual Credit Report Request Service, P. O. Box 105281, Atlanta, GA 30348-5281.

According to the FCRA, both the consumer reporting company and the information provider (that is, the person, company, or organization that provides information about you to a consumer reporting company) are responsible for correcting inaccurate or incomplete information in your report. To protect your rights under the law, contact both the consumer reporting company and the information provider to dispute any information.

It is hard enough to find or maintain a good job without having credit worries spoil it. Keep your credit record clean; check it often, and good luck with the job search.