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Council of Better Business Bureaus
FTC - Negative Credit Can Squeeze a Job Search
February 24, 2010

FTC LogoThis information is provided under a cooperative agreement between the Better Business Bureau and the U. S. Federal Trade Commission (FTC), which has prepared this information.

FTC Consumer Alert

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 don’t 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.

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. To order your free annual report from one or all national consumer reporting companies, visit www.annualcreditreport.com, call toll-free 877-322-8228, or complete the Annual Credit Report Request Form and mail it to: Annual Credit Report Request Service, P. O. Box 105281, Atlanta, GA 30348-5281. The form is at the back of this brochure; or you can print it from ftc.gov/ credit. Do not contact the three nationwide consumer reporting companies individually. They provide free annual credit reports only through 877-322-8228, www.annualcreditreport.com, and Annual Credit Report Request Service, P. O. Box 105281, Atlanta, GA 30348-5281. For more information, see Your Access to Free Credit Reports at ftc.gov/credit.

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 or to get free information on consumer issues, visit www.ftc.gov or 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 complaints into Consumer Sentinel, a secure online database available to hundreds of civil and criminal law enforcement agencies in the U.S. and abroad.

May 2006

This information is provided under a cooperative agreement between the Better Business Bureau and the U. S. Federal Trade Commission (FTC), which has prepared this information. The FTC works to prevent fraudulent, deceptive and unfair business practices in the marketplace and to provide information to help consumers spot, stop, and avoid these practices. To learn more about the FTC and its services, visit www.ftc.gov or call toll-free, 1-877-FTC-HELP (1-877-382-4357); TTY: 1-866-653-4261.