Among the rest of the things you need to do before that job interview, looking at your credit report is up there in priority. Actually, your credit is something you should be in the habit of checking several times a year. Here’s why it should be done before that job interview:
- The Fair Credit Reporting Act is the federal law covering the whole issue. This link is to a pdf of the law. It’s a little overwhelming.
- According to Workplace Fairness, it boils down to the fact that if an employer asks and gets your written permission, they can do a credit check any time after that, even if you have been employed for a while.
- If there is something negative in your credit report, and they decide that is reason not to hire you (or reason to fire you), the federal law doesn’t have any remedies for it even if the report is inaccurate. Some states have laws covering this area.
- If you are rejected for a job based “in whole or in part” on a negative credit report, the employer has to follow guidelines laid out in the law: give you a copy of that report, and written instructions on challenging the accuracy of the report (like handing you a brochure like “A Summary of Your Rights Under The FCRA” by the FTA).
- Employment Background Checks are a fact of life in the US, so the Federal Trade Commission monitors them. This link is to their page explaining things in a quick summary.
- If you have been keeping up on your credit report monitoring, you are already prepared to explain any negative things on that report. You are familiar with the way it all works because you’ve been consistently learning about it. So you aren’t being hit with a bunch of unfamiliar stuff and you are ready.
Honestly, if you aren’t paying attention to things like your credit report, you are kind of like the guy who puts his dollar bills in a pile and gets surprised when they disappear in the wind. He is making the mistake of thinking a minor detail won’t affect much. It’s really important these days because identity theft happens to anybody and that regular credit check will let you know it happened to you.
Professional Resume Services has covered credit checks along with a lot of other topics on this blog. You can poke around in the archives and get a lot of information! Best of all, you’ll see a little popup (Let’s Talk!) that gives you a chance to ask questions and get answers.