Bad Credit Effects

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 to get or keep a job? Employers often use a credit report when they hire and evaluate employees for promotion, reassignment, or retention.

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 dont get a job because of information in your report, the employer must show you the report and tell you how to get a copy from the consumer reporting company. There is no charge for the report if you request it within 60 days of getting notice that you did not get the job.

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A recent amendment to the FCRA requires each of the nationwide consumer reporting companies - Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion - to provide you with a free copy of your credit report, at your request, once every 12 months. The companies are rolling this out across the country during a nine-month period. By September 2005, consumers from coast to coast will have access to a free annual credit report if they ask for it.

If youre not yet eligible for a free report under the new federal law, you can buy it. Contact:Equifax - 800-685-1111 (www.equifax.com); Experian - 888-EXPERIAN (397-3742) (www.experian.com); and TransUnion - 800-916-8800 (www.transunion.com). Your report can cost up to $9.50.

Under state law, consumers in Colorado, Georgia, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Jersey, and Vermont already have free access to their credit reports.

According to the FCRA, both the consumer reporting company and the information provider (that is, the person, company, or organization that provides information about you to a consumer reporting company) are responsible for correcting inaccurate or incomplete information in your report. To protect your rights under the law, contact both the consumer reporting company and the information provider to dispute any information. For more information, see How to Dispute Credit Report Errors at ftc.gov/credit.

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 call toll-free, 1-877-FTC-HELP (1-877-382-4357) or TTY: 1-866-653-4261. The FTC enters Internet, telemarketing, identity theft, and other fraud-related complaints into Consumer Sentinel , a secure, online database.

Source: http://www.ftc.gov/bcp/conline/pubs/alerts/ngcrdtalrt.htm