Do Employers do a Hard or Soft Inquiry?

With your written permission, employers may obtain a limited copy of your credit report for employment purposes. When employers request your credit report, it generates a soft inquiry.

Soft inquiries don't affect your credit scores and are only shown to you on your personal credit report with a couple of exceptions.

Soft inquiries on your credit report are only visible to you, except: (1) insurance companies may be able to see other insurance company inquiries; and (2) inquiries by debt settlement companies you have authorized to access your report may be shared with your current creditors. These inquiries have no effect on your credit score as they are never considered as a factor in credit scoring models. Soft inquiries are not disputable but are available for reference. Soft inquiries are not shared with lenders, businesses or other potential employers and are not included in credit score calculations.

Before an employer can receive a copy of your credit report, you must provide written permission for them to do so. If you provide written permission, the employer will receive a copy of your credit history that omits account numbers, birth date, spouse information, or any other information that could violate equal employment opportunity regulations. Employers will never receive your credit score.

Employment is the only instance in which written permission is specifically required under federal law.

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Scoped on: 2/19/2019