Credit and Employment

credit checks

People can live without owning a home, they just rent. People can live without owning a car by riding the bus. People can go without health insurance; it is not ideal but possible. People learn how to deal with cash only instead of credit cards, but there is one thing that it is hard to function without – a job. Now credit is having an effect on people’s employment in a way that it didn’t in the past.

It is important to know that the law prohibits an employer from denying employment to someone based on bankruptcy findings. However, the law does not prohibit an employer from denying an application, or even rescinding an offer, based on other credit issues. Some of these issues could be inquiries, foreclosures, or collection actions. More and more companies are using credit reports as a means of hiring, firing, and for promotional purposes. One survey that was taken by the Society for Human Resource Management showed that 35% of companies are now performing this practice.

The most common practice for employers still remains to be the background check, but studies have found that if a company is pooling resources in order to verify background, more often than not, they will go ahead and pull the credit report also. However, many employers have found that finding credit mishaps did not determine whether or not an employee was more likely to steal. The better predictor, most would say, is a full criminal background check, which would show things such as bounced checks. Employers will also use credit checks in order to make sure employment history is correct and that the Social Security numbers are valid. This is a measurement that is taken as a form of insurance for a company that is trying to hire new staff members.

Some of the best jobs are with the government. There is plenty of room for advancement and job security is usually better than with most jobs in the private sector. Governmental agencies do perform credit checks for security reasons, but don’t worry, the only time a credit report will be used as a means of denial is if the prospective employee will have direct access to cash.

There are rules that people have to follow, regardless of the position that is being applied for. For instance, an employer has to have your permission before they can run a credit check. The permission has to be obtained in writing, and any deviation from this method is against the law. Bankruptcy is not supposed to be considered a problem. Remember, they can take issue with you not paying your bills, but not if you have filed for bankruptcy. Finally, if your credit information is used against you in any way, the employer is required to tell you what the problem is.

Times are changing and we have to change with them. Credit checks are becoming more and more important as time goes on. Twenty years ago no one would have ever thought they could be turned down for a job because their credit was lacking. With credit rapidly becoming so ingrained in the way society works you have to do your best to keep your credit clean.

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