Employee Credit Checks - Frequently Asked Questions

May 08, 2016

Employee Credit Checks are gaining in popularity and to most employers they are still a relatively new concept. Because of this, some terms can often seem confusing but don’t worry, you aren’t alone - we have compiled a list of the most frequently asked questions we get asked by new customers to help you out.

Will an employee credit check have an effect on my candidate’s credit score?
No. Employee Credit Checks do not have any impact on the candidate's credit score or ability to gain credit. The search recorded on the candidate's credit report by the credit reference agency is a type only the individual can see and is not seen by any organisation granting credit or used in calculating credit scores.

My candidate states they are registered on the electoral register but the report says they are not – why is this?
There are two versions of the electoral register –the full version and the edited version. Everyone registered to vote will appear on the full version of the register but you can choose to have your details excluded from the edited version – approximately 45% of UK adults do this. The full register is used for elections, preventing and detecting crime and checking applications for credit. The edited register is available for general sale and can be used for commercial activities such as marketing. Only the edited version of the register can be used for employment screening purposes, explaining why your candidate can be on the electoral roll but not visible in an employment screening search.

The candidate claims they have paid the County Court Judgment displayed on the record – why is it not showing satisfied?
In order for a judgment to show as satisfied the candidate needs to have paid the debt in full and obtain a receipt. They must then pass this receipt to the court where the judgment was issued. The court will then notify the Registry Trust who will mark the judgment as satisfied prior to updating the credit reference agencies. The candidate can also apply for a Certificate of Satisfaction from the court by applying in writing including evidence the debt has been paid and a cheque to cover the court fee of £15.

My candidate claims the information on the report is incorrect – what should they do?
The first step is for your candidate to obtain their credit report directly from the credit reference agency. Once they have their report they can contact the consumer help teams at the credit reference agencies who will work with them to rectify any issues. The contact details for the 3 UK credit reference agencies are:

Call Credit: Customer Care, Call Credit Check, PO Box 734, Leeds, LS1 9GX

Equifax: Equifax Credit File Advice Centre, PO Box 1140, Bradford, BD1 5US
Experian: Consumer Help Service, Experian Ltd, PO Box 8000, Nottingham, NG80 7WF

How long does court and insolvency data such as County Court Judgments (CCJs) stay on a candidate’s credit report?
6 years – even if satisfied. The only exceptions are if a candidate pays the debt within 1 month of the judgment date or if the judgment is set aside by the court.

As an employer can we see details of the credit accounts the candidate operates such as payment performance and outstanding balances?
No. As we explained in the previous article the access to data stored on an individual’s credit file is tightly controlled. The credit bureau work on the principle of reciprocity i.e. you must contribute data in order to get data out. Therefore, as the vast majority of employers do not contribute data (as they do not grant credit), information regarding the credit accounts an individual operates is not available for the purpose of employment screening.

The candidate wishes to settle a County Court Judgment how do they go about this?
The employer should provide the candidate with the case number, court name and date of judgment from the candidate report. The candidate then needs to contact the court - they can find the contact details using the Court Finder feature on the HM Courts and Tribunals website. On providing the details specified above the court will then let the candidate know which organisation applied for the judgment and explain the next steps in order to settle the claim.

We have been asked to make a CIFAS check – can you explain what this is?
If you have been asked to make a CIFAS check it means you have been asked to check for instances of fraud committed by your candidate. CIFAS or Credit Industry Fraud Avoidance System is the UKs most comprehensive databases of confirmed fraud data. However, CIFAS operates as a Closed User Group, that is, in order to access information on the databases you must first be a participant actively contributing data. In most instances as the requests for these checks stem from financial companies who are likely to be CIFAS members it makes sense to revert the search back to them.  

We hope you have found these questions and answers useful. These are the most common questions we are asked but if we haven’t covered everything you want to know feel free to call us or drop us an email - we are always happy to help.


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