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I just checked my credit reports for the first time and my job is listed on each report. How do the CRAs get this information and why do they list what job I have?

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Where do they get it? Wherever you apply for a loan, credit card, or mortgage, they ask this question; and the CRAs save it. The same happens when you rent a home.

Why do they want it? It gives an indication about your credit worthyness, as there is a non-zero correlation between job and financial behavior - a bank director is more diligent (in average!) in paying his loans off than a restaurant server; even if the correlation is small.

That's the whole business idea of CRAs - find as many correlations as possible, and milk them for financial behavior predictions.

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The FICO score does not consider your occupation as part of the score; see for example What's Not In Your Score:

  • Your salary, occupation, title, employer, date employed or employment history. Lenders may consider this information, however, as may other types of scores.

Experian has an answer explaining this in further detail, and particularly noting this information's use as identify verification (those questions they ask you sometimes when pulling credit, like "Which of the following is not a former employer?") They also explain exactly where the information comes - from the lenders you borrow from (via their loan applications).

Employers don’t report job histories to Experian or the other national credit reporting companies.

In fact, the employer listing on a credit report is not an employment history at all. Rather, the employers shown in your credit report are provided by your lenders when they first report the information from your credit application.

Because the employer listing is updated only when you apply for new credit and is not provided to Experian in all cases, it is not meant to be an employment history. The employer listing does not affect credit scores or play a direct role in the lending process. For example, it likely would have no bearing at all in an automated credit application process.

Rather, it may be used as an additional identification tool. For example, a potential employer could match the employers you list in a job application to those listed in your credit report, helping them verify your identity and the information in your job application.

So, you don’t need to worry about updating the employment listing on your report. The next time you apply for credit, you will probably be asked to list your current and previous employers on the application. When the new account is approved, the new employer may be added to your credit history when the account is reported.

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