Employer requesting your full Social Security number to access your credit report

Dear Experian,

I have a possible future employer that wants my full Social Security number to pull my credit report. Can they do it without my full number? I have been a victim of ID theft so am very cautious about doing so. What type of information will they see? Will it be another bump on my credit?



Dear SUS,

They should be able to obtain your credit report without your full Social Security number, but in this instance we would advise you to share it. You are right to be cautious about sharing your Social Security number, but in this instance there is a good reason to do so.

The employer has a legitimate reason to request the number, and providing it along with your other identifying information will ensure that Experian is able to provide a complete, accurate credit report.

Employers get a modified version of your credit report. What they do not receive is as important as what they do receive. An employment credit report is stripped of any information that would violate equal employment opportunity laws. So, there is no information about age, gender, or marital status.

Account numbers are also deleted from employment reports because they are not needed for employment purposes.

There is enough information to give a potential employer insight into your overall credit circumstances and whether or not you are having problems managing existing debt. It also provides valuable identifying information, such as your name, address, and previous addresses that can be used to match against your job application or resume.

In fact credit reports used by lenders can be as important for verifying a person’s identity as they are for financial reasons. This is particularly true for jobs that involve high security or access to potentially dangerous products such as volatile chemicals.

When employers request your report, it results in a so called “soft” inquiry that is shown only to you on your personal credit report. Because only you see the inquiry, it does not affect credit scores or future lending or employment decisions.

Thanks for asking.

- The “Ask Experian” team

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