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Employment Credit Report

TransUnion Employment Credit Report

HireSafe’s employment credit report by TransUnion™ can identify if an applicant has any accounts in collections, open loans, inquiries made by third parties, and much more.

The TransUnion Employment Credit Report includes:

  • Name
  • Current Address with other previous addresses
  • Social Security Number
  • Phone Number (if applicable)
  • Current Employer (if applicable)
  • Up to Three Previous Employers (if applicable)
  • Aliases (if applicable)

The employment credit report summary also includes but not limited to:

  • Collection Accounts
  • Current or Previous Delinquent Accounts
  • Types of Credit
  • Account Charge Offs
  • Repossessions
  • Alerts of any Confirmed or Suspected Fraud Activity.

Employment Credit Report

Employment Credit Report

Since this credit report check is designed for employment purposes, it does not place an inquiry on the applicant's report. We recommend this service for all positions that involve access to cash, expensive equipment, or financial record keeping. This service provides the employer insight into an applicant's level of fiduciary responsibility and to assess potential risk in case of employment. Before releasing credit history reports to a new client, an onsite credit bureau authorization is required (applicable fee).

Common Uses:

  • Used in all industries for positions with fiduciary responsibility
  • Some industries (like Financial Services) may wish to run this search on all employees
  • To identify applicants who may not show responsibility and may potentially be pre-dispositioned  to mismanage company funds

Credit Report Limitations

Pre-Employment Credit Reports have traditionally been utilized during the employment background check process; this is done to evaluate the candidate's financial responsibility. Discretion and common sense have always ruled at HireSafe, where the only recommended utilization of credit reports was for positions with a clear business need. The financial turmoil of 2008 has left many otherwise responsible people in a challenging situation.

To remedy their overuse, ten states (as of 07/01/2013) have now enacted legislation that limits the use of Credit Reports within employment background checks. However, in the states of CA, CO, CT, HI, IL, MD, NV, OR, VT, and WA, the use of credit reports for employment suitability has not been banned outright. These new state laws balance the role of credit reports as one component of the hiring background check evaluation.

Generally, the law states that employers may not use or require an applicant to consent to the release of consumer credit information for employment purposes. However, the exception is when the credit report is "Substantially Related" to the employee's current or potential job responsibilities. This information would apply to banks, financial institutions, and circumstances where a credit report is required by law.

"Substantially Related" is generally defined as a position which:

1. Constitutes executive/management personnel or officers or employees who constitute professional staff to such personnel and the position involves at least one of the following:

  • Setting direction/control of business/division;
  • A fiduciary responsibility to employer;
  • Access to customers', employees' or employer's personal or financial information
    other than information customarily provided in a retail transaction;
  • The authority to issue payments, collects debts, or enters into contracts;
  • Routinely handles large sums of cash in, or

(2) Involves certain contracts with federal government (e.g., defense, intelligence)

Although not required to do so, a best-practice would be for an employer to provide an applicant or employee the opportunity to explain any unusual or mitigating circumstances related to their background credit report results. Life events such as divorce, loss of a job, or medical bills can be overwhelming and beyond an individual’s control. While necessary, a credit report does not represent the total of an individual’s capabilities.

The proper use of a background credit report is not to automatically deny employment based upon a blemish in an applicants’ past. Instead, it is a tool for an employer to make an informed hiring decision. In addition, to ensure that potential new employees can demonstrate the strength of their character despite earlier indiscretions. More importantly, the new state credit report regulations have been in complete synchronization with the HireSafe method of conducting compliant background checks since 1997.

Impermissible Purposes

If the person requesting your credit report does not have one of the “permissible purposes,” then your credit report is off-limits, period. If your neighbor, ex-girlfriend, co-worker, relative, or stranger pulls your credit report, you can be reasonably certain that they probably violated the FCRA.

Where it gets tricky is when a potential creditor, employer, landlord, or another person that you have some colorable relationship with overreaches and grabs your report without having a permissible purpose.

Here are some common scenarios when an individual or other entity pulls your report without an impermissible purpose:

  • An employer pulls your credit report without asking your permission.
  • Someone looking to sue you for a non-credit account or an involuntary debt -- as car towing and impound fees or breach of a real estate purchase agreement -- your credit report to find out if you have assets it can collect against.

  • Your creditor pulls your credit report after you discharged that debt in bankruptcy.

  • A tax collector, unless you have a payment agreement already in place or the information was subpoenaed. It is unclear if a tax collector can pull your credit report once it has obtained a tax lien, however.

  • Someone requests your report to use it as evidence against you in a divorce, criminal, personal injury, or other non-credit lawsuit or proceeding.

  • A landlord is attempting to collect past-due rent unless the landlord has obtained a judgment against you.

  • A credit card company pulls your report, but you were only an authorized user -- not an obligor -- that account.


Restricted Use of Credit Reports by State (subject to change)

For more information about Employment Credit Reports for hiring, visit:

Federal Trade Commission (FTC)
Consumer Protection Financial Bureau (CPFB)

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