As you probably know if you've ever applied for any work at home phone jobs, many companies want to run a credit check before they will hire you. We've talked about this before, and most of you felt it's a bit unfair. You believe that a credit score shouldn't determine whether or not someone would make a good, trustworthy employee.
While I agree wholeheartedly, the truth is that it's still a requirement with some companies, so it's best to be prepared and know what your score is before you apply.
Note – I have only ever seen the credit check requirement with companies offering phone jobs, particularly those where you're handling sensitive information for customers, like credit card numbers, etc.
How I Check My Own Credit Every Month
I realize that anyone can get their credit score for free once a year, but I like to keep tabs on my own score fairly often. While most people nowadays know you can get your credit score for free anytime you want to, in the past there were shady companies that would offer a “free” score, but only if you agree to a trial. If you didn't call and cancel your trial before was up, you'd get billed.
I'm so forgetful that I usually ended up not canceling and getting billed!
About seven years ago I came across a site called Credit Sesame that promised to give me my score without ever asking for my card number or making me agree to a free trial. That sounded like exactly what I needed, so I signed up.
It was as promised — I got my score for free and I have never had to pay them. They update the score every month so I can log in around the first of each month and see if it's gone up or down. My husband also made his own account so he can watch his score, too.
Credit Sesame Pros
Here are the things I like best about Credit Sesame:
#1 – Obviously, the fact it's free.
#2 – They send me email alerts if anything positive or negative has been reported on my credit, and I can log in and see where it came from.
#3 – They give tips on things you can do to increase your score.
#4 – It's very easy to navigate the site, very professional and clean-looking.
#5 – If you worry about, or have ever been, a victim of identity theft, you'll want to use Credit Sesame or another service like it so you can be warned immediately if it appears anyone is applying for credit in your name. The faster you can get on top of an identity theft situation, the less damage can be done, and the easier it will be to fix.
Trust me, you don't want to be someone who doesn't realize this has been happening until your credit score has dropped 30 points in 30 days due to massive amounts of fraudulent charges, and tons of new credit has been applied for in your name.
Credit Sesame Cons
#1 – I believe they only pull your score from one credit bureau — Experian. There are three bureaus and many employers will check all three. Still, you get a general idea of what your score is.
#2 – If you want to see your score and your entire report, you do have to sign up for a monthly, paid membership. But for most people, the free account with just the one score gives enough of an overview.
#3 – After you sign up, you can expect near daily or every other day emails from Credit Sesame. Sometimes these are important notifications about your score, but other times the emails are encouraging you to go sign up for credit cards and get personal loans. 🙁
If you're trying to rebuild your credit and avoid sinking into further debt, you probably don't want to see these kinds of offers. But thankfully, you can log into your account and turn those types of emails off under “profile.”
Should You Sign Up?
With so many companies now wanting to check credit scores before they hire, it's not a bad idea to keep tabs on your score every month so you have an idea where you stand and see what steps you can take to improve it.
Even if your credit has always been good, it's nice to know you can get alerted if anything changes for better or worse.
I've been a member at Credit Sesame for seven years and it's certainly saved me money since I'm no longer signing up for “trials” that are hard to cancel just to find out what my score is.
You can go here if you want to check out Credit Sesame and find out what your credit score is before you apply for a job.
Post originally published on July 29, 2015. Updated and republished on June 21, 2019.