Your Questions About Credit Reports And Employment

Nancy asks…

Why are Companies requesting “credit score/report” for employment?

My son is seeking employment everywhere and anywhere meanwhile still attending college. Many companies on “Craigslist” are requesting a current copy of his credit report stating that this will prove his identity and proof that he is a citizen. We are skeptical. They state they will also need 2 forms of identification apon orientation. Has this happend to anyone?

John answers:

Any “legit” company will pull the credit report themselves. This is like a dentist telling you to bring your own x-rays. Don’t fall for it.

Carol asks…

Fair Credit Reporting Act and Employment in Pennsylvania?

When you are going through the hiring process does the potential employer have to at least notify you that they are going to check credit as part of the process of hiring? I thought they had to at least let you know they will be doing that. Anyone know?

John answers:


Mary asks…

how can I establish credit without prior employment history?

I am on ssi and I have never worked before and I want to establish credit. plus my husband has a very expencive medical bills that we can’t pay and it is on my credit report. I want to know what do I need to do to establish credit.

John answers:

I have to make decisions everyday on whether to approve or deny people that apply for credit. If I had to give advice to people that are trying to start out building credit, this is the advice that I would give:

1. Open a checking account- While opening the account doesn’t directly build your credit, it does create a relationship between you and the bank by being an accountholder. Banks love to cater to their preferred customers that have accounts in great standing by offering loans and credit cards. Also, having a checking account not only helps manage your money, but it gives you the most powerful tool in building credit, a checking account to help pay your bills on time. Most banks and credit unions offer online banking with billpay that can make it easy for you to pay your bills on time, which is important in building credit.

2. Open a secured credit card- Secured credit cards are the easiest credit cards to get, mainly becuase a security deposit is placed upfront in order to establish a line of credit in the same amount. For example, if you deposit $250, your credit limit is $250, and so on. The deposit isn’t used to pay for any of the purchsases on the card unless, it was charged off and sent to collections, so you would have to repay it just like a regular card either in full or minimum monthly payments. The deposit is sometimes linked to a savings account, so it earns interest while you’re building credit, so the deposit isn’t sitting there. You can think of this as building credit with a savings account. The more you deposit, the higher your limit, which is good for your score because it creates a cushion between the total debt you owe and the credit you have available. Also, by continuing to add to the deposit, you’re also creating an emergency fund at the same time. A good way of using the card is by making small purchases ($20/month max) and paying on time every month while adding to the deposit. Usually after a year or so, the card either converts or upgrades to a regular card, and most importantly, the deposit is given back, which you can place in a savings account as an emergency fund.

3. Enroll with PRBC- PRBC is America’s Alternative Credit Bureau, providing a helpful service to the over 50 million people with limited or no credit history. If you pay your monthly bills on time, PRBC can help you build credit to qualify for a mortgage and better interest rates.On-time payments for the following bills are not reported to the traditional credit bureaus:

Natural Gas
Cell Phone

The only time your payments for these bills are reported to the other credit bureaus is if they’re missing or late.With PRBC, your on-time payments count. You build credit for paying your bills on time, even if you have no credit history. PRBC offers two simple ways to start building credit today.

In closing, just a few more things to keep in mind.

-Don’t spend more than 30% of your combined available credit on all your cards.

-Only apply for credit when necessary.

-Dont close unused accounts.

-Pay on time

Hope this helps…

Thanks for reading and…

Good luck!

Jenny asks…

How do I change/dispute my employment info on my credit report(s)?

My old employer is listed on my reports and I want my new job on there. What do I need to do?


John answers:

Information about you are reported to the credit bureaus by their subscribers, your creditors. The next time you apply for credit, your new employer may or may not be reported.

Sandra asks…

Can a place of business deny me employment because of my credit report?

I was sued by a credit card company for an unpaid debt. I admitted that I didn’t pay the credit card and it shows on my credit report. Can this be used against me in consideration for a job? Especially an industrial job that doesn’t have anything to do with money? How do I remedy this?
Side note: I live in Alabama.

John answers:

Unfortunately, yes they can. However as the previous young lady indicated, there is a bill before Congress to limit this practice to jobs in the financial sector and public safety. Two states, Washington and Hawaii have laws on the books forbidding this practice except for jobs in finance and public safety. 16 other states have legislation proposed or pending.

This practice really is unfair because there is no evidence that a person with a poor credit history is dishonest or will not “show up for work”. However this is exactly how employers are using credit reports. And that is why legislators are working to stop them.

If you have a job interview and they want permission to run your credit, be upfront with HR from the start. Explain the circumstances and that you have admitted fault. It’s a little difficult to keep up with obligations if you are unemployed and if you can’t get hired because you haven’t kept up, it’s a real catch-22.

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