First Things First

Check your credit report before starting your job search

Before starting your next job search, there’s one thing you should do: Check your credit report. Yes, you should update your resume, talk to references and all of the usual things, too. But checking your credit report is important. It could be the difference between getting that job and your search continuing.

While some states like California and Washington have barred employers from checking your report, many employers still do this as part of your application process. This is especially true if you’re looking for a job in a financial field. Companies look at your report to see if you have any bad money habits, like missing multiple payments or getting targeted by collection agencies (red flags to employers). They’re thinking, “If he can’t handle money responsibly, he’s bound to make mistakes while working here.” Your best move against employers checking your report? Get to it before they do.

As USA Today reports, you’ll want to pull your credit report from one of the three major bureaus. You can pull from one of the bureaus once per year for no charge. Look for any errors, and should you find some, report them to the creditor and the credit bureau. And while employers can only check your report — not your score — do your best to keep your score as high as possible. That way when the job search begins, you have one less thing to worry about.

Chris O'Shea

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