Credit Report: Background Check’s Treasure Trove

Posted On 11:28 AM by Andrew Calvillo |

An applicant’s credit report may as well be a goldmine of information for the employer. While the resume should be a good place to start for getting to know an applicant, statistics do show that at least 40 percent of information in a resume is false. Should the employer decide to expand the background check to include the applicant’s credit report, the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) states that the employer must first ask for the applicant’s permission.


The applicant may refuse, but the employer has the right not to reconsider him in the future for security purposes. If the employer ends up not hiring the applicant after going over the latter’s credit profile, the FCRA requires the employer to furnish a pre-adverse action disclosure report, among other documents.

The employer is also obliged to tell the applicant about incomplete or inaccurate details, which can be grounds for refusal to hire. As this is a credit report, any errors in the report isn’t the fault of the employer. People with credit reports are responsible for the accuracy of the details within the pages, which can be settled with the credit reporting agency.

Applicants with criminal records are another story. While criminal history is among the reasons for initiating a background check, it doesn’t necessarily imply that a former thief is disqualified from employment. This can, however, be grounds for discrimination.
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