Check Credit Before Job Hunting

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If your New Year's resolutions include finding a new job, be sure you find out what's in your credit report before potential employers do by pulling your credit report from the three big repositories.

Looking at your credit report tells an employer how you manage money. It also reveals where you shop (think twice before you open a store account at a lingerie shop), how much you charge, what mortgaged properties you own, and shows your delinquencies, bankruptcies, judgments and liens.

Employers will also see prior employment information, so be sure your credit report matches your resume.

You'll also see a list of just who has ordered copies of your credit report, which may include your current employer (if the stack of paperwork you signed when you took your current job included a form giving your employer permission to check your credit).

If your credit report has a mistake, you'll find information about how to correct it at the Web sites of Equifax, Experian and TransUnion.

If your credit report is bad and it's also accurate, during interviews be prepared to exhibit extreme contrition about your past mistakes. Keep your explanation short and include a statement about how you've corrected the problem. Then turn the interview back to the real issue - what you can do for the employer.

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