Applying for jobs can be a busy and stressful time, but it’s also full of exciting prospects and new opportunities.
The majority of the time, your credit history won’t play a part in the application process at all. But, surprisingly, some employers will ask to check your credit report before they offer you a role.
So we take a look into which industries this applies to, why employers may check your credit report and how it could affect you.
Which employers check credit reports?
Many employers don’t require credit checks. Those that do, will need to get your permission before they can carry this out.
Employers usually ask to see your credit report if you’re applying for a job that involves handling large sums of money and/or a large amount of responsibility. This typically includes areas such as:
- Senior management
- The police and army
Though this list isn’t exhaustive and employers can also carry out criminal records checks, depending on the profession.
What can employers see?
An employer may carry out pre-employment screening before they offer you the role. This involves background checks (such as credit checks and criminal record checks) for security reasons. If they review your credit report, they’ll be able to see the information that’s readily available to the public, like CCJs, insolvency and bankruptcy - but not your credit score.
Only you will be able to see the footprint an employer leaves on your file. Lenders won’t be able to see it and it won’t impact your credit score.
Unfortunately, a bad credit history could put some employers off, but it depends on the severity of the markers, the individual company and the policies they follow.
Remember, you can always refuse access to your report. But be careful, this may cost you the job opportunity if their offer depends on a credit check.
Why do employers check credit reports?
There are three main reasons why employers check credit reports:
- To confirm you are who you say you are
- To check that you are responsible with money
- To assess how suitable you are for the job
Bear in mind that each company will use their own criteria, and other factors may be taken into account.
Will a bad credit history put employers off?
Again, it depends on the company, but generally speaking, employers are more likely to be concerned about serious markers (like bankruptcy, for example) than the odd missed payment.
We understand that just because someone has struggled with finances in the past, it doesn’t mean they’ll resort to anything untoward. But employers may worry that severe debt problems could affect their employees’ work.
This may seem unfair, but all is not lost. The impact of any negative markers should decrease over time - as long as you’ve managed your money well since then. So the more time that passes, the higher your chances of getting that new job.
Get started on repairing your credit history today
Your credit history can affect other areas of your life too, especially if you need to finance in the future. Don’t let it get you down though, as you can start the road to recovery straight away.
A good idea is to use one of the free services, offered by Experian, Equifax and TransUnion to check your credit history. Then you can make sure all of the information is correct, and you can see where you can start making improvements. This won’t affect your credit score or leave a footprint on your file, meaning you can check it as many times as you want.
Head here to find out how you can improve your credit score in three months.
Remember, no matter how difficult it may seem to turn your credit history around, it’s always possible to improve your situation. Every employer is different, and they won’t just be basing their decision solely on your credit file. They’ll take your CV and interview into account too.
Disclaimer: All information and links are correct at the time of publishing.