Did you know that ... according to a survey by the Society for Human Resource Management, 60% of private employers check the credit histories of at least some of their job applicants. 13% conduct them on ALL candidates.
Rather sobering statistics that provide even more credibility to my ongoing message regarding the importance of good credit. Creating a good credit history, then maintaining it is vital these days. It's why I recommend checking your credit, at minimum, once per year, either by going to www.annualcreditreport.com, or by contacting me.
Proof ... strong proof ... lies within these stats. More and more of our lives are dependent on our credit status. Insurance rates. Obtaining cell phones. Loans of all types. Renting an apartment. Utility services within our homes and businesses. Jobs.
And yes, you read that right. JOBS ...
Here in Illinois (other states also - Hawaii, Washington, Maryland, Connecticut, California, and Oregon) we have laws and rules prohibiting employers from using an applicant's (or current employee's) credit history when making decisions regarding employment.
On January 1st, 2011, it became unlawful for Illinois employers to utilize credit reports in this manner ... unless a "satisfactory credit history is an established bona fide occupational requirement of a particular position or a particular group of an employer's employees". An example of that? To receive a mortgage license to do mortgage lending within the State of Illinois, I had to undergo fingerprinting and a credit check. There are other employs that require the same.
But for those states that do NOT have a similar law or protections in place, the issue remains. Poor credit, or even credit issues from your past, can come back to haunt you in the present when you make application for a new job. And with American credit card holders between their late 20's and early 30's acquiring more debt than older consumers, the issue of credit could loom even larger in the future.
What do employers hope to learn from running a credit report on a job applicant or employee? Simply, they're looking for clues into the behavior and mindset of that applicant. They're looking for a glimpse of their priorities. Their approach to life. What the likelihood for fraudulent behavior or activities might be, if hired? And a whole host of other insights that would somehow show how they might conduct their job.
One note should you be applying for a new job. An employer can not run a credit report without notifying you in writing that they are going to do so. They must also gain your written authorization to run the report. And the report they acquire is just that, a report. It does not include actual credit scores. But again ... what are they looking for? The below are the most common "red flags" that an employer will look for:
* What percentage of your credit you are utilizing on credit cards, loans, etc.
* Late Payments and Late Fees
* Recent activity, inquiries, or credit usage
All of the above truly provides you 1 More Reason to Have Good Credit ... and Keep Good Credit. Although there are protections in place in many states, the facts remain ... many states DO allow employers to run credit ... and credit and credit scores are increasingly important.
Credit maintenance is important and should be a full-time focus. Not just when you're hoping to find a new job. Not just when you're dreaming of buying a home.
* Dreaming of buying a home in Chicagoland? Contact me now. We'll check your credit and get you on the right path to home ownership.
I can be conveniently found through any of the following: