Securing a job can be difficult enough without having to worry about things like your credit score. Compiling the perfect CV and just preparing for interviews takes time, but when you finally get called for an interview you will quite possibly be competing against hundreds of other qualified and skilled candidates. This is stressful enough without having to also worry about credit reports. So can your credit report ruin your chances of securing a job?
The answer is not as simple as just yes or no. The reason for this is that there will be different answers for different industries and job types.
Can your credit report ruin your chances of securing a job?
There are certain instances where having a bad credit report could negatively influence your ability to get a particular job. In fact, the National Credit Act (NCA) does allow employers to do a credit check on a candidate applying for any that requires trust and honesty and involves the handling of cash.
If the position that you are applying for does not fall into this category the employer or recruiter should not request a credit check. That being said it is still quite commonplace for employers to run credit checks on potential employees. I can understand this to a certain extent as individuals in financial difficulty would be more prone to stress which could affect their work.
It is very important for employers to know that regardless of their reason for wanting to do a credit check, they need to ask the candidates’ permission before obtaining the report. If they do not obtain permission, action may be taken against them. Anyone who suspects that their credit score has been checked without permission may contact the National Credit Regulator on 0860 627 627 or email email@example.com and lodge a complaint.
Know your credit score
I highly recommend that you check your own credit score. If you are aware of any issues on your credit record at least you can volunteer the information before the employer checks, this will give you an opportunity to explain the circumstances surrounding issues that might show on the report.
One of the best methods of checking your credit score for free is through a service called ClearScore. They will send you a free monthly credit report. This will allow you to know and manage your credit rating. If you do not already have a ClearScore account you can click here and sign up. It only takes about 2 minutes and is highly recommended.
If you have any problems with your credit score, such as incorrect information or listings on a credit bureau. You can contact the Credit Ombud for free assistance on 0861 66 28 37 or simply visit their website www.creditombud.org.za.
Maintaining your credit score for interviews.
If you are applying for a position where the employer will require a credit check I recommend that you do the following;
1) Make sure that you check your credit score before the interview. Like I said ClearScore is a great way to do this. And if you find and incorrect information make sure you challenge it.
2) If there are any changes made due to you challenging any information, make sure that you check every month to be sure that this information is not reinstated.
3) Try to maintain a good credit score by paying bills on time.