Your credit questions, answered

What Money readers are asking about their credit scores.

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Karyn Beach
Age: 40
Hometown: Charlotte

Question: "How can employers use my score?"

Answer: By law, human resources departments can't pull credit scores on potential hires or existing employees. But they can pull your credit reports once they get your written permission (and saying no may raise suspicions).

One reason the company may want to check your credit profile: You're interviewing for a job or you're up for a promotion that would involve your handling money. A good credit history may indicate you'll be reliable in such a role. But even for nonfinancial jobs, employers sometimes look to a credit report as a window into someone's general sense of responsibility.

It's worth noting that companies can use any information they find in your report -- except a bankruptcy, thanks to the Federal Bankruptcy Act -- in hiring, firing, or promotion decisions, says Detweiler of

By the way, while employers can't take a look-see at your score, just about any business that gives you an ongoing service can. That includes utility companies, landlords, and in some states, insurance companies.

Last updated August 24 2009: 10:19 AM ET
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