There’s good news and bad news.
Your credit history can affect a lot of things in your life. Especially a bad one: when you have a bad credit history, it will be extra difficult to apply for credit cards, loans, and other banking and financial services.
But does this also mean that you’re going to have a hard time looking for a job when prospective employers do a background check on you? Will it be impossible for you to ever find a job then?
Access is limited—for most
First, some good news: most human resources personnel and headhunters don’t go as deep as digging into your credit records, and for good reason.
“It doesn’t apply in the Philippines because we don’t have much means to check,” says Fiona Arambulo, a human resources expert who has worked in the retail and publishing industry. “It doesn’t really affect the hiring process because we don’t really look into an applicant’s or employee’s personal dealings.”
Unlike in the US, the Philippines doesn’t have a centralized credit bureau. They have three credit bureaus—Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion—that can provide limited access to companies who want to run a credit investigation as part of their background check. US citizens, on the other hand, can pull their credit scores from the said companies to check on their credit standings.
TransUnion also exists in the Philippines for collecting financial information of the Filipinos. But unlike in the US, an individual cannot simply walk into their office and request for a report. Companies doing a background check on their applicants cannot do so either.
Since its operation in the country in 2011, TransUnion has partnered with banks in the country. For now, only these institutions can access the agency’s database.
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It applies to these jobs and industries
Still, there are industries and specific job positions where doing a credit check is standard for the application process. The banking and finance sectors, for one, are rigorous in selecting applicants because of the sensitive nature of the industry. They may even check how financially savvy an applicant is, based on the individual’s financial capacity.
Companies also check on the credit histories of applicants for finance-related positions, regardless of the industry. Examples of which are treasurers, auditors, and other positions that mainly deal with money.
Things are about to change
In 2008, the government passed Republic Act 9510, more commonly known Credit Information System Act (CISA), to create a universally accessible credit information system in the Philippines. Under the mandate of the said law, the Credit Information Corp. (CIC) was born. The CIC will serve as the agency responsible for the credit information repository of the Filipinos.
As of now, the CIC is still working on a system that will create a national credit information system in the country. It’s expected to be fully operational by 2016. That means you have one year to settle your debts if you are in the market for a job or are thinking of changing careers. –Dino Mari Testa