Bad credit can make it difficult to get a car loan or even a
job, says the Alexandria, Va.-based Society of Human Resource
Management. In a recent poll, 35 percent of companies surveyed said
they pulled credit reports of potential employees, up 19 percent
from 1996. How to cope?
Get a copy. Equifax (www.equifax.com),
Experian (www.experian.com) and TransUnion (www.transunion.com)
are the three major credit bureaus. Costs for a copy of your report
vary, but by law applicants cannot be charged more than $9.
They must ask. Companies need your permission
to run a credit check. But once you say yes, they can run
additional checks at any time.
Be proactive. Savings, checking and brokerage
accounts are not part of your credit history. Neither are medical
payment records. To mitigate any negatives on your report, offer
backup records for, say, doctor’s visits that ate up your
Say no. If the position does not involve
handling money, say your credit is not relevant and politely refuse
to give permission to check your records.