How does credit reputation affect your employability?

Published 27 June 2022. Contributed by Credit Bureau Singapore.

How does credit reputation affect your employability?

With the increasing cases of occupational fraud in Singapore, particularly the finance sector, it is not a surprise that employers are now being more careful and stringent when it comes to conducting background checks on potential new hires.

MAS Fit and Proper guideline

Credit Bureau (Singapore) Pte Ltd (CBS) has evolved to provide employers with reliable credit screening tools to 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, they are obligated to do employment checks which include credit checks on pre-hires.

Therefore, maintaining a good credit report is very crucial to every individual, especially if you have a long career vision to stay in the banking and finance industry for good.

How can employers retrieve my credit report?

CBS is strongly committed to protecting your privacy and complying with your choices. Both personal and non-personal information collected is safeguarded according to the highest privacy and data protection standards.

CBS will ensure that the individual’s full consent and authorization are obtained before the reports can be sent to the authorized companies.

For instance, if you wish to download a copy of your credit report, you will be prompt to sign in via Singpass to give your consent to allow CBS to send a copy of your report to your employer. Whereas for non-Singpass users, they will be asked to visit the CBS office for face-to-face verification via sighting of original photo ID documents.

What do employers commonly look out for in my Credit Report?

Similar to sighting a resume, employers will be able to use the individual’s credit report during pre-employment screening to evaluate the individual’s credit health before eventually determining the employability of the potential candidate. Through the individual’s credit reports, employers will be able to filter out any adverse payment history or possible recent litigations and bankruptcy records.

Depending on the risk appetite of each company, they will assess different combinations of indicators in your credit report. Therefore, it is important to present a favourable record in your credit report at all times. Here are some common indicators that employers may look out for in your credit report:

  1. Non-Scored or Public records.

Employers will look out for public records such as writs of summons and bankruptcy records, past and existing, filed against you. This information will be retained in the credit report for 5 years from the date of discharge from bankruptcy.

  1. Bureau Score and Risk Grade.

The Bureau Score is calculated from an algorithm based on information in your current available credit data and is a fluid number which may change from time to time in tandem with changes in your credit information. Lenders will assess the Risk Grade and Probability of Default to determine if you are a high-risk borrower.

The Bureau Score can range from 1000 – 2000 for risk grades AA – HH. A poor credit score or report may indicate the employee to be financially irresponsible, and also serve as an early warning to prevent companies from hiring potential data mongers who might seriously damage the company’s reputation in the future.

  1. Account Status History.

Lenders will be able to use this information to assess your repayment behaviour for the past 12 months. This information is displayed on a 12-month rolling basis (with the most current cycle on the left) while closed accounts will have the last 12 months payment status history as at the date of closure displayed for 3 years.

  1. Default Records.

These refer to records of payment default as reported by the credit provider. This reporting is in turn a commercial decision by the credit provider, and may depend on a variety of factors like whether the account has long, outstanding payments. Default records with the status of Negotiated Settlement or Full Settlement will be displayed for 3 years from status date. For default records with the status of Outstanding, Partial Payment and Sold Off, the records will be displayed indefinitely on the report.

In addition, it is also not uncommon for companies to conduct regular screening exercise on your credit report on an annual or Ad Hoc basis. The frequency of check is very subjective to the risk appetite and scale of the size of the company. Therefore, it is important to keep your credit report at a healthy range as it can also be beneficial to you as well in other aspects of your life – read this article here: if you have not.