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Why do employers look at your credit report?

Contributed by Credit Bureau Singapore

Credit reports as a broad overview

Credit Bureau Singapore (CBS) is Singapore's only comprehensive consumer credit bureau that has 100% full-industry uploads from all retail banks and major financial institutions.

Your credit report provides a holistic view of your credit payment habits. By keeping track of your credit report on a regular basis, you will be better informed of any changes that have been made to your credit file.This in turn helps you manage your credit reputation more effectively as well as stay mindful of what the lenders know about you.

With the enhanced credit report, you can also make better borrowing decisions for future credit applications. Furthermore, borrowers who are at risk of credit problems can avoid running into deeper debt while those who are over-geared can take steps to reduce their outstanding debt.

An individual’s credit report contains information that is uploaded by the Bureau’s members on a monthly basis. The data is then consolidated and sorted into sections.

Importance of a Credit Report

As most banks will check your credit file to assess your creditworthiness prior to making a decision, a good credit repayment history will make it easier for you to obtain credit and to qualify for the big ticket items such as taking out a mortgage, planning a wedding, qualifying for a car loan and building up for retirement.

The use of the credit report is one of the risk assessment tools that banks use to evaluate on your creditworthiness and assess your financial soundness. Banks will usually look out for repayment status of credit facilities, default records or past bankruptcy. Also, credit-related information on the number of existing credit facilities, new enquiries, outstanding balances and overdue balances in your credit report.

A good credit reputation helps you to stand out during your job searches. You can establish credit by getting a secured credit card, which uses a fixed deposit with the issuer as collateral. Credit cards are valuable stepping stones to measure and track your credit and financial progress overtime. As you get to decide how much to charge and pay off every month, a credit card provides insights on how responsible you are with credit and it can boost your scores.

Employers tend to pull credit reports to glean the most accurate identifying details of a candidate to assess their identity, integrity and credentials, as a person’s credit history can be a good indicator of their competency behaviour and financial soundness. This is especially so for candidates that are required to take on financial oversight responsibilities and companies.

A solid resume, references and interview skills may be a great booster but overlooking another all-important area - your credit report could disqualify you from a job you are suited for, especially so in the banking and finance industry. A bad credit reputation could be what tilts the scales in another candidate's direction.

If you have applied for a new credit facility in the last 30 days with any of CBS member banks and financial institutions (view list of CBS members here), you can receive a complimentary copy of your credit report from CBS. Otherwise, you can purchase your report online to understand your credit report better.

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