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Is Credit History Part of the Background Check Process?

There are many things that make up a comprehensive pre-employment background check.

Is a credit check among those things? It depends.

Credit history is often part of a pre-employment screening. However, bad credit does not necessarily mean automatic disqualification from job consideration.

For one thing, not all employers include history in background checks. According to one report, about one half of pre-employment background checks include a check on credit history.

That may soon change. In some states, it already has. A least ten states have already set restrictions on how credit reports can be used in hiring. Those eight states are Connecticut, California, Illinois, Washington, Maryland, Vermont, Oregon, Colorado, Nevada and Hawaii. There's a good chance this list will expand.

The type of job you are applying for can also determine if a credit check history will be part of the background check. Most companies will include a credit check for a position that has access to company finances. Mid-to upper-level executive positions will likely also have credit checks tied to the pre-employment screening.

The good news is, because of the economic woes of recent years, many companies have become more understanding of the financial difficulties facing many job candidates.

Remember, it is fairly easy to obtain a free credit report to check for any discrepancies or errors. It's important to understand that credit history still remains just one POSSIBLE part of a comprehensive pre-employee background check. A clean report in all other areas means it's less likely a missed credit card bill or mortgage payment will have a negative impact on your job prospects.

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