Negative Credit Can Squeeze a Job Search
Washington, D.C. - Bad credit can affect
your ability to get more credit. Did you know it also can affect your
ability the get or keep a job? Employers often use a credit report
when they hire and evaluate employees for promotion, reassignment or
According to the Fair Credit Reporting
Act (FCRA), which is enforced by the Federal Trade Commission (FTC)
and your state Attorney General, an employer must get your permission
to look at your credit report. If you don't get a job because of
information in your report, the employer must give you written
instructions on how to challenge the accuracy of the information in
your report. Accurate negative information can stay on your report for
seven years; bankruptcy may be reported for 10 years.
The FTC advises all consumers to check
their credit reports once a year to make sure they are accurate and
complete. Copies are available from the three major credit reporting
agencies: Equifax - 800-685-1111 (www.equifax.com);
Experian - 888-EXPERIAN (397-3742) (www.experian.com);
and Trans Union - 800-916-8800 (www.transunion.com).
Your report may cost up to $9; in some states, they are free.
According the FCRA, both the credit
reporting agency and the organization that provided the information -
such as your bank or credit card company - are responsible for
correcting inaccurate or incomplete information in your report. To
protect your rights under the law, contact both the credit reporting
agency and the information provider to dispute any information.
The FTC works for the consumer to
prevent fraudulent, deceptive and unfair business practices in the
marketplace and to provide information to help consumers spot, stop and
avoid them. To file a
complaint or to get free information
on consumer issues, visit
call toll-free, 1-877-FTC-HELP (1-877-382-4357); TTY: 1-866-653-4261. The
FTC enters Internet, telemarketing, identity theft and other fraud-related
Consumer Sentinel, a
secure, online database available to hundreds of civil and criminal law
enforcement agencies in the U.S. and abroad.
FEDERAL TRADE COMMISSION
FOR THE CONSUMER