For Eugene residents who are having financial problems, a job interview can be hopeful and exciting. However, some might have been warned that prospective employers conduct credit checks before hiring. It is important to understand what may be conducted during the interview process, as well as whether a credit check by an employer is legally permissible.

The National Conference of State Legislatures points out that Oregon is one of the states that limits an employer’s ability to check a potential employee’s credit report during the hiring process. However, most other states allow this practice, and some Oregon residents might be applying to jobs in a state in which this is a normal occurrence.

According to NerdWallet, employers do not request access to a potential hire’s credit score, as some may mistakenly believe. A credit score is a number that is given to signify good or bad credit. Instead, employers may request a copy of an applicant’s credit report from one of the major credit reporting agencies. This document would provide a general overview of the applicant’s credit history, which might give the interviewer an idea of whether the person he or she is considering is responsible enough for the job. For example, someone who is applying for a job in finance might stand a better chance of getting the position if he or she is in good creditor standing. A survey by the Society for Human Resource Management suggested that many employers conduct credit report checks as a way to reduce the chances of embezzlement or theft by employees.

Applicants must give permission in writing for potential employers to request a copy of their credit report, and this will not affect their credit score or reveal sensitive personal information.