Can My Boss See My Credit Score?
Ever wonder who has access to your Credit Score at work? Read below and find out how to protect yourself.
So you've finally got an interview for your dream job. You're as excited and prepared as you ever will be!
For you, this interview is going to be a slam-dunk, a no brainer.
Suddenly the interviewer catches you completely off guard.
What does your credit score look like?
As you sit there squeamishly trying to decide if or how to answer that bomb two things cross your mind.
1. How does my answer affect my job candidacy?
2. Are they even allowed to ask?
In short, the answer is: no.
They can't outright ask you what your credit score is, but they can ask you about other personal finance or credit history information.
Based on the state where you reside, employers can ask credit bureaus for a specific version of your credit report designed specifically for employers and hiring managers.
This report contains some pertinent financial information about you, but not everything.
In fact, the most important piece of your credit history, your credit score, is missing from that report.
So what you need to ask...
Can my employer access my credit score or credit history?
According to the Fair Credit Reporting Act, an employer does have certain limits as to what they can obtain as it regards to your credit history, but they are entitled access to certain financial history information.
Below are the basic guidelines they must follow.
- An employer must get your consent before checking your credit report. No consent, no approval. But consider the consequences of saying no.
- If you are NOT hired based on your credit history, the employer must disclose to you the report so you can ensure everything is correct before they can outright deny you the position.
- Some states limit credit checks more than the FCRA allows as it can have a negative impact on hiring, so make sure you know your states laws.
Most employers will use the credit checks to ensure that the person they consider hiring has not violated any ethical standards or has criminal behavior in their past.
Not just as a sole means to hire someone.
A credit history report is seen as a great secondary measuring stick for people when you have no familiarity with them.
They can provide emotionless data for you to make assumptions about the person based on if they are responsible or a risk.
Someone who is on top of their finances would hypothetically not show late payments and poor marks, giving a second sign off that this candidate is someone to be trusted. The good news is even if you have poor credit, you aren't SOL.
So how do you protect yourself?
Well, I would say enroll yourself in a credit monitoring program.
Check with the bank you use for your checking and savings accounts, as well as your credit card companies - many of them offer free credit monitoring as an added bonus for being a customer.
Constant monitoring allows you to see exactly what gets added to your credit report and you can be on top of it before anyone else.
Other than that, just be as prepared as possible and stay up to date on your financial history.
If you have poor credit, remember: it is a number. It does not convey the quality of your character or your professionalism.
If it comes up in a job interview, stay ahead of the interviewer and volunteer this information. It never hurts to own up to your previous mistakes and say that you are better person who has learned from their mistakes.
Especially if you are working to improve your financial situation!