Can a poor credit record affect your chances of getting a job?

Can a poor credit record affect your chances of getting a job?

Katlego asks: To what extent does your credit record affect your chances of getting a job and can an employer run a credit check? If you have a bad credit record does this affect your prospects and does a good one increase your chances?

Maya replies:

According to the National Credit Regulator, the National Credit Act requires that a potential employer has to get permission from a candidate to run a credit check. Moreover, a credit check can only be requested in instances where a candidate is considered for employment in a position that requires honesty in dealing with cash or finances.

So technically a potential employer may not request a credit check unless the position requires it, however in practice, many employment agencies run credit checks on candidates and the permission forms part of their agreement to represent you.

Employers are concerned that even if someone is not in a position where they are working with cash or finances, if the employee is in severe financial difficulty, this would create work stress and lead to debt collectors calling or requests for emolument attachment orders. Employers do prefer candidates who are not in financial difficulty, but if the position does not relate to finances, you have the right to refuse to give permission for the credit check.

Should a consumer feel that their credit report was obtained for employment purposes without their consent, they can lodge a complaint with the National Credit Regulator on 0860 627 627 or email complaints@ncr.org.za.

Related: Your credit report can ruin your chances of securing a job

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