5 Jobs Which Need Adverse Credit Checks for Employment

Organisations across a wide range of sectors have varying degrees of pre-employment background screening requirements. While most employers would generally implement common types of background checks like employment history, education verification and criminal record checks (commonly known as DBS checks), others may have slightly more stringent needs.

It’s become increasingly common for HR teams and hiring managers within organisations - from healthcare and education to finance and security - to implement more varied background screening solutions, like social media checks and AML (anti-money laundering) checks.

Another particularly frequently-used background check is a credit check for employment. This may send alarm bells ringing for some applicants that are acutely aware of their poor credit history or low credit score, and worry this may disqualify them from future employment, promotions and so forth.

Can an Employer Check Your Credit Score?

Firstly, it’s important to answer this question. Yes, an employer can check a candidate’s credit rating with permission. Some types of financial services companies, such as legal firms, are legally required to conduct credit checks, but other companies may request to run credit checks on applicants before they apply for a job.

Why Do Employers Conduct Credit Checks?

The main reasons why a potential employer would want to check an applicant’s credit file are below:

  • To confirm the candidate’s identity, and that they are who they say they are.
  • There is no huge risk of entrusting the candidate to handle money.
  • That a candidate has a good track record of managing finances.
  • Financial behaviour will not impact the candidate’s performance in the workplace.

A pre-employment credit check will let an employer see an applicant’s detailed credit report, including details of late payments, defaults, CCJs and so on.

Can I Be Denied a Job Due to Bad Credit?

While it’s not the news that many candidates like to hear, unfortunately, an employer can refuse to process a candidate if they’re discovered to have a bad credit history. 

If a hiring employer feels that a candidate’s current financial situation could affect their ability to perform well in the advertised position, or there is clear evidence of poor financial planning, they may decide not to hire that candidate.

Companies, however, cannot see whether a credit report has been checked by an employer, so candidates’ needn’t worry - their credit score will not be affected.

5 Roles Which Involve Credit Checks for Employment

As said above, many employers will conduct a series of background checks for all potential employees. This will range from fundamental right to work checks and digital ID verification to advanced checks against BS7858 or SMCR standards, which have more stringent requirements, depending on the role advertised.

Companies in a variety of industries carry out employer credit checks before hiring. Some of the most common are outlined below:

1. The Armed Forces

Enlisting in the British Armed Forces will require you to go through extensive pre-employment background checks, including financial checks such as credit searches. Jobs in the British Army require security clearance (see BPSS checks).

2. Accountants and Bookkeepers

Mandatory credit checks for employment apply to bookkeepers registered with the ICB, IAB or ATT, who will have required some evidence of good credit before enrolling. As for accountants registered with one or more of the UK Chartered Accountancy institutions (CIMA, ICAS, ACCA or ICAEW), they will likely have gone through several credit checks to work for a firm with these qualifications.

3. Financial Planners

It’s very common for financial planners or mortgage advisors to check an employer’s credit score, as they’ll be responsible for negotiating large sums of money for lending or handling the transfers themselves.

4. Solicitors and Law Firms

Any firm of solicitors will conduct an employer credit check, as it’s their legal obligation. They may deny employment depending on the findings. As is the nature of solicitors’ roles, they’re often responsible for dealing with highly sensitive information. All qualified legal personnel must be deemed trustworthy to view and process all the information they find.

5. Police and Law Enforcement

Police forces like the Metropolitan Police will often check the credit histories of potential employees. While bad credit history may not automatically disqualify a candidate as such, depending on what’s revealed, an employer may decide to take action afterwards.

Employment Checks from Eurocom CI

At Eurocom CI, we provide a wide range of background check services, often bundled into packages to make it easier for our clients. One of the biggest advantages of working with us as a trusted third-party employment background check agency is how we can leverage your exact requirements for pre-employment screening into a single solution, supported by enterprise-grade software.

If you require a bespoke solution, we’d love to discuss how we can help you.