Employers Are Using Credit Checks for Hiring, Hope you are not missing on Good Jobs!

A CIBIL report is like a financial report card that keeps track of your borrowing behaviour. It details the loans that you have taken, your payment patterns and other details relating to your credit history. This information is for sure useful to the banks who use it to evaluate your credit worthiness before granting you loan. In fact the CIBIL score and report have become an integral part of most bank’s loan approval process. But is this information of any use to your prospective employers? It seems very unlikely that your employer would be interested in knowing such details. He should only be concerned about your education qualification, experience, skills and aptitude required to do the job successfully! Right? Wrong!

You may be surprised to hear this, but there are quite a few companies especially in the financial sector who check the credit history before hiring an individual. You may think that your financial health has nothing to do with your capability to perform a job well, but some employers think differently. So next time you go out looking for a job, you need to worry about one more thing apart from your resume and interview preparation; that’s your CIBIL score and report. This practice of reviewing the credit history as a part of employee background check was prevalent in many western countries. Slowly this is gaining acceptance in India as well especially in the financial sector. It will not be long when companies across all sectors will use this as a standard practice.

For what kind of roles is credit check more prevalent?

Positions with financial responsibility, senior executive positions and roles that require handling of confidential or sensitive data usually involve credit checks. Many private sector banks like IndusInd, Standard Charted and DBS bank check the CIBIL report as a part of the thorough background check that they perform before offering a job. Such checks are usually performed for hiring for sensitive roles in an organization.  The rationale behind these checks is that if a person has defaulted on loan payments or not settled credit card dues since long, he may not be considered suitable for handling customer’s funds. Employers use this data to judge how responsible and financially stable you are.

So if your credit report is not in good shape, now is the time to work on improving CIBIL score. As the job market is becoming more and more competitive, companies are analysing the candidates profile more deeply to select the most suitable person for the job. A low CIBIL score may hinder your chances of getting hired for your dream job.

A CIBIL report which shows 100% credit utilization, significant levels of debt, late and missed payments and delinquencies indicates the irresponsible attitude of the individual. If the report shows many settled dues, bankruptcy, foreclosure then you may be seen as an individual with bad intentions. Companies refrain from hiring such individuals as they believe that poor financial health of an individual will have an adverse effect on his or her performance levels at the job. On the other hand a good CIBIL score and report is associated with honesty, integrity and responsibility towards one’s obligations.

What and how can the employer check credit details

Your credit score and credit report are two different things. Your report does not display the three digit number. Your employer can only check your credit report and not your score. Secondly, they cannot do a credit check secretly behind your back. They can do so only after seeking permission from you. The employer will ask you to authorize him and give a written consent to allow him to have a look at your report. So when you sign the authorization documents, you will know that your credit profile will be evaluated. You may refuse a credit check, but then the employers may reject your job application on the grounds that they were unable to complete their screening process.

If you have negative information on your report what should you do?

If you have questionable items on your report, inform the employer before hand as to what they can expect. You need to be prepared with an explanation for the negative record. Companies would want to know how you took charge of the financial situation when you were faced with adversity. Explain what you did to rectify the situation.

Bottom Line

Having excellent skills for the job is no longer enough to guarantee a placement. Employers have adopted the practice of checking CIBIL report to analyse your trustworthiness and attitude towards your responsibilities. So keep a check on your CIBIL report and improve CIBIL score. This will improve your prospects of landing into a good job when you are competing against other equally qualified candidates.

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