Can Businesses Really Check My Credit Report Before Offering Me A Job?

Reader Brandon wants to know if those freecreditreport.com commercials are being misleading when they tell you that your credit report can affect where you get a job.

I know that freecreditreport.com and all those other ads are a bunch of phony junk, but how is it that they can scare people into checking their credit scores because “it may even effect where you get a job.”

How can a job check your credit report, and what kinds of jobs would want to?

Well, first of all we want to say that you should check your credit report by going to annualcreditreport.com, rather than freecreditreport.com, because the former is actually free, while the latter is a promotional offer for a credit monitoring service.

Now that we have that out of the way, let’s talk jobs. The sad truth, Brandon, is that yes, a company can check your credit report (if you let them) and many will want you to. What kind of jobs? Well, probably not the kind of jobs that were depicted in the commercials you mentioned.

Here’s an example from MSNBC. The potential employee in question was applying for a high-paying job at the State Department — when his job offer was rescinded because his credit report showed a bankruptcy in his past. This apparently put him at high risk for accepting a bribe.

It’s also worth noting that these types of employers are generally interested in your credit history — not your credit score. (Your credit score is a number based on your credit history, but it’s not the same thing.)

In any case, it’s a good idea to check your credit reports and dispute any inaccuracies that you find there. You never know when you might want to work for the State Department.

AnnualCreditReport
(Photo:The Joy Of The Mundane)