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6 Common Misconceptions of Employment Credit Checks

Are you well-versed with what an employment credit check constitutes? Take note of some of these misconceptions people have when it comes to employment credit checks.

The Credit Bureau Singapore not only provides credit data information to consumers, but also credit reports to eligible companies for employee credit assessments, to help them make well-informed hiring decisions. This is especially relevant for banks and financial institutions as they are closely regulated by the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS).

Under MAS’s Guidelines on Fit and Proper Criteria, be it an institution, exempt financial institution, exempt entity or a fund management company, employers are obligated to do employment checks, including credit checks, on pre-hires to evaluate their overall credit health and financial stability.

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Now, let us now dive deeper into some of the common questions and misconceptions that jobseekers will have of hirers who conduct an employment credit check on them.

Common Misconceptions of Employment Credit Checks:

1. All companies will conduct Employment Credit Checks

False. For companies who are not required to comply with MAS’s regulations, they might choose to not conduct Employment Credit Checks for all their employees.

2. Companies only conduct the check for new/pre-hires only

False. Companies who are complying with MAS’s regulations may also conduct annual review checks on all or some of their existing employees.

3. All employers are able to request a copy of my Credit Report from CBS

False. The company must have a Relevant Purpose for conducting a credit check. Relevant Purpose refers to any one or more of the following:

  • the purpose of assessing the creditworthiness of an Individual in connection with an application for credit by such Individual or a review of the account of the Individual;
  • the purpose of assessing the creditworthiness of an Individual as a surety in connection with an application for credit by a Customer or a review of the account of such Customer or a review of the creditworthiness of the Individual; or
  • any other purpose(s) permitted by the Act.

To put in simple terms – a company is only allowed to obtain a copy of your credit report given that the information is only used for checking credit-worthiness.

The candidate must give authorisation and consent for CBS to submit a copy of his or her Credit Report to the Authorised Party. Authorised Party refers to the following three types of entities: 1) Government Agencies, 2) Agencies Complying FAA, IA and SAA, and 3) Banks which are registered with the Association of Banks (ABS).

Candidates also can dispute the findings of the credit report if they disagree with the data.

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4. Employers only conduct Credit Assessment Checks for high-ranking officials such as managers and above

False. Depending on the risk appetite of each company, some may choose to conduct employment screenings for employees who hold a certain level of responsibility. For example, a company accountant who assists in overlooking the company’s assets and finances, or a relationship manager who handles client’s wealth assets.

5. If I have a poor Credit Score, employers will be less likely to consider me

False. The Credit Score is a fluid number which may change from time to time in tandem with changes in your credit information. This is only one of the many indicators that employers will look out for. There is other information in your Credit Report that may be taken into consideration, such as Public Record, Account Status History and Default Records.

Your Credit Score will gradually improve over time as you continuously make good repayment efforts to clear your bills and loans on time. Also, do take note that the Credit Report is only one of the many tools that employers will use to assess your overall suitability for the role.

6. My past information will be reflected on my Credit Report forever 

False. Your outdated information on your Credit Report will be purged after several years as shown below:

The full explanation of your credit report and a sample report can be found here.

Consistency is key

Do not fret or panic if you feel that your credit score is not up to expectations just yet. Always remember that performing your due diligence and repaying all your bills on time is key to building a good credit score. Not only does this look better when you are job hunting, but it also makes you seem like a more credible and responsible borrower when you apply for loans in the future.

Should you have any questions on your credit report, please contact our friendly Consumer Services Officers at 6565 6363 or email in to consumer_services@creditbureau.com.sg.

This article is contributed by Credit Bureau Singapore.

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