Can employment check hurt my credit score?

Dear James,

Is an employment check of my credit history logged on my credit report? Does this go against me as another credit check?

Alli, York

Dear Alli,

Whenever your credit report is accessed to help grant credit, confirm your identity, assess your suitability for a job, give you a credit quote or even to supply a copy to you, a record is kept. We call these previous searches or footprints and they basically mean that when you check your own report you can see who has been looking at it, when and why. Importantly, the only type of footprint that is often fed into credit scoring is the type created by you applying for credit (called ‘credit application footprints’). Other types of footprint, such as one created by you applying for a job, do not count and cannot affect your credit rating. The reason lenders sometimes use credit application footprints when calculating credit scores is that a large number of this type of footprint in a short space of time can, along with other indicators, highlight financial stress or in some cases fraud. You can avoid collecting a worrying number of credit application footprints by spacing out your credit applications and, when you’re shopping around for credit, by only agreeing to a credit check once you have decided on the best deal. If the interest rate they’ll charge is linked to your credit score then ask them to give you a quote making sure that this will only involve a quotation footprint being registered on your credit report. (March 2012)

James
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