Unlike applications for mortgages and car loans, credit card applications don't ask for documented proof of income or employment. That doesn't mean, however, that the credit card issuer won't verify the accuracy of the information if it finds that necessary. The bank that issued the card won't call your employer, but if you fall behind on payments on a credit card you're using, a debt collector has the right to contact your employer.
When you first complete a credit card application, a credit card company may not contact your employer. Should you fall behind on your payments the company has a right to contact your employer for your employment status.
Pulling the Credit Report
Your credit card application is mainly used to gather your personal information to run a credit check. If your credit report contains delinquent accounts in collections, or too many accounts with high balances, your income and employment history typically won't matter much anyway. The minimum credit score required for credit card approval varies, depending on the issuer, however, your creditworthiness is a potential lender's primary concern. While credit card issuers can also refer to the employment section of your credit report, the information isn't always current, and they are more interested in your history of repaying your debts.
Confirming the Employer
According to Experian, your employers do not report employment to the credit bureaus. The employment history provided on your report is supplied by lenders when they report the information from your credit application. If you have never applied for credit, your credit report may not display your current employer at all. Also, the employment information listed (or not) doesn't factor into your credit score. Sometimes you may notice information on your credit report is reported inaccurately. If you have an employer listed on your credit report that you never worked for, contact the credit reporting agency to correct this.
The Credit Card Act of 2009 requires credit card issuers to consider your ability to repay your debt before extending you credit. Companies use statistical models to estimate your income based on the information in your credit report. Other credit card companies may delve deeper and verify your income using the Internal Revenue Service's Income Verification Express Service. However, credit card companies do not use this information to get your employer's contact information. It is solely used to determine your ability to repay your debt.
The Fair Debt Collection Practices Act allows a third-party debt collector to contact your employer, but only to confirm your employment status. The debt collector must not reveal that it is trying to collect a debt and is usually permitted to call the employer only once.
- New Economy Project: Your Rights Under the FDCPA - Recognizing Debt Collection Abuse
- MyFICO: What's Not in My FICO Score
- Discover. "What Are the Requirements for a Credit Card?" Accessed Feb. 29, 2020.
- Credit One Bank. "How Many Credit Cards Are Too Many?" Accessed Feb. 29, 2020.
- TransUnion. "How Long Does It Takes for a Credit Report to Update?" Accessed Feb. 29, 2020.
- myFICO. "What's in My FICO Score?" Accessed Feb. 29, 2020.
- Federal Trade Commission. "Fair Credit Reporting Act § 604. Permissible Purposes of Consumer Reports," Pages 14-15. Accessed Feb. 29, 2020.
- Legal Information Institute. "United States Code of Federal Regulations § 1022.72 - General Requirements for Risk-Based Pricing Notices," Accessed Feb. 29, 2020.
Jeannine Mancini, a Florida native, has been writing business and personal finance articles since 2003. Her articles have been published in the Florida Today and Orlando Sentinel. She earned a Bachelor of Science in Interdisciplinary Studies from the University of Central Florida.