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Q: I need a credit check but I’m not sure where the best place to do this is. What should I do?
A: Before pulling anyone’s credit report except your own, ask permission. This can be a sheet handed out with the application that they must sign. Keep this paper on file. If the information in the applicant’s credit report convinces you not to hire them, you must let them know that this was the reason you did not hire them, and provide them with the name, address, and phone number of the credit reporting agency where you pulled their report from. You must also inform them that they have 60 days to request a free credit report to dispute any false information.
To get the credit report, you can either pay for a subscription to a service, or you can pay per report that you request. With small businesses (and if you’re reading this, you’re probably not the hiring manager of Walmart), it is generally more cost effective to pay for each separate credit report you receive.
You can get this report at the three main national bureaus’ websites (Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion). You can expect the price to be around $30-40. AAA offers credit reports to employers and landlords which you can check out here: www.aaacredit.net/order.html. You may also want to check with local credit reporting agencies that are around your area, as they sometimes offer credit reports for lower prices than the national bureaus.
Editor’s Note: Our updated recommendations on where to Get Your Credit Score can be found here.