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Your employment history is often listed on your credit report. But you may not see all of your current or previous jobs, depending on how the information was reported to the credit bureaus and what information was reported. Here's what you need to know.
Why Your Employment History Is on Your Credit Report
When you look over your credit report, you may be surprised to see your current or past employers listed in addition to your name, addresses, list of your credit accounts and recent inquiries into your credit. So why will you see employment information on a credit report?
When you apply for credit, such as a new credit card or loan, creditors commonly ask for employment information, including your current employer name and sometimes your income or salary. You'll also likely need to provide other personal details like your name (and any past aliases), date of birth, Social Security number and address.
This personal information is generally used by lenders to help confirm your identity when you're applying for credit. Asking for many different types of personal information, including your employment history, can help employers prevent fraud by verifying that the person applying for a loan or credit is who they really say they are.
What Employment Information Appears on Your Credit Report?
Any employment history that appears on your credit report is generally limited to the employment information lenders have reported to the credit bureaus. Typically this includes the name of any employers you've included on applications for credit. Other types of employment information, such as your title, your salary or the dates you worked for an employer, won't show up on your report—even if you had to provide this information on your credit application.
But what does it mean if an employer is added to your credit report? If you see a new employer on your credit report, don't panic. While some creditors will report your employment history to the credit bureaus (Experian, TransUnion and Equifax), they aren't required to. Any employment information you've included on credit applications may not always get passed along by the creditor to the credit bureaus or show up on your reports. So when you check your credit report, you may only see certain employers listed and not others as a result.
Does Employment Information Affect Your Credit Scores?
Your employment history won't impact your credit score in any way, but it can sometimes get added to your credit file if a lender chooses to report this information to the national credit bureaus. Credit scores, such as those developed by FICO and VantageScore®, help creditors, lenders and other businesses quickly understand how you handle your finances to determine your potential risk and eligibility for credit.
When applying for credit, your current or past employment isn't an indication of your creditworthiness since it doesn't play a role in the way you've managed credit and debt. While creditors may use your employment history to help verify your identity when you're applying for a loan or other types of credit, it doesn't factor into your credit score.
What to Do if There's Inaccurate Employment Information on Your Credit Report
Every time you apply for credit you may be asked to provide information about your employment history to help confirm your identity. If an employer shares this with the credit bureaus, it will sometimes show up on your report, but not always. Since lenders aren't obligated to share this information with the credit bureaus, your credit report may not show all of your current or past employers.
While missing employers on your credit report isn't generally a concern, if an employer shows up on your credit report that you don't recognize, or if there's other incorrect information, you have the right to dispute it with the credit reporting agency. Errors on your report can cause confusion and delay a credit application from being approved.
The Bottom Line
Credit reports can be important tools to help detect identity theft and fraud. When someone uses your personal information to commit fraud, like opening a new account in your name, the first signs of the fraud often appear on your credit report. Seeing both current and past employment information on your credit report is to be expected—even if it's incomplete.
But it's important to keep an eye out for incorrect information by reviewing your credit report regularly. You can request your free credit report and score from Experian anytime to keep a close eye on your credit.