SEP 23, 2011
We have talked before about how more employers than ever are checking job applicants credit as part of the hiring process. And we’ve also discussed the importance of maintaining good credit while you’re looking for work.
Employer credit checks are becoming more common, but not everyone is in agreement on whether or not they’re fair to applicants and really useful for employers. Employer credit check laws vary from state to state, but right now the only federal law that really governs them is the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA).
Under that law, a potential employer can check your credit only after getting your written consent to do so. If the employer decides not to hire you based on the results of that credit check, he has to provide you with a copy of the report and inform you of your right to challenge the report.
Some legislators and consumer advocacy groups are pushing for stricter employer credit check laws in a number of states. Here’s a rundown of some of the latest headlines on the subject:
While states may continue to consider and in some cases adopt laws restricting employer credit checks, it is still up to you to protect your credit during unemployment and the job-hunting process. Preserving your good credit report and score is the best way to ensure you never miss a job opportunity because of bad credit.