The Work Number FAQs
What is The Work Number?
The Work Number®, from Equifax, the nation's largest database of employment and income information, as provided by employers. It is used by lenders, property managers, pre-employment screeners, social service agencies and others who need to verify someone's employment status and sometimes, his or her income as well. Typically, verifications are required when a person applies for a loan or public aid, leases an apartment, updates their immigration status, or applies for a job.
What information does a lender or other verifier get from The Work Number?
The Work Number can provide different types of verifications for different purposes. For example, if a consumer is seeking a new job, the hiring employer might want to verify past employment, while a mortgage lender will typically need to verify income in exacting detail before approving a loan. If a consumer applies for public aid from a social service agency, they too will need a verification of income. The Work Number can provide information to help meet each of these needs.
Can just anyone get information from The Work Number?
No. Information from The Work Number is deemed a consumer report under the federal Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA), so verifiers must have a permissible purpose, as defined under Section 604 of the FCRA, to obtain data. If the verifier is seeking income information, they must also obtain consent from the consumer to obtain such income information. Consent can be given in numerous ways, such as signing a borrower's authorization form when applying for a loan. Verifiers who desire to use The Work Number must first be credentialed with Equifax, which is a process whereby their business is validated as legitimate. Verifiers must also authenticate or use individual-level credentials provided by Equifax when they login to The Work Number, clearly establishing who is making the request. Only legitimate businesses, with valid permissible purpose under the FCRA—and with the expressed consent of the consumer when requesting income—can get information from The Work Number.
Is The Work Number secure?
Yes. All data being exchanged is encrypted with the use of dedicated VPNs, digital signatures and public key infrastructure implemented to encrypt confidential data transmitted over the internet and at rest. Equifax is certified as FISMA ATO–NIST Moderate – which demonstrates a foundational level of security suitable for data exchange with critical government systems.
Do employers pay to outsource their verifications to The Work Number?
Under the NCR/ Equifax agreement, all participating employers will receive The Work Number service at no charge. Verifiers pay for the speed and convenience that The Work Number offers over traditional methods of manually reaching out to employers to perform verifications.
Who is considered a verifier?
Typically lending institutions, property managers, government agencies or other organizations having a permissible purpose under the FCRA to verify employment and income information about a consumer may be considered a commercial verifier.
What is Consumer Consent?
- Consumer consent is the consumer's authorization for a verifier to receive employment and income information about that consumer.
- Consent could be provided by the consumer when signing a loan application, lease agreement or similar document.
- Consumer consent to obtain income can be written or verbal, provided that such consent is auditable and demonstrates to a reasonable degree of certainty that the consumer has authorized the verification of employment and income information.
How does The Work Number work?
- NCR Payroll & HR will offer client opt out—assumed all NCR Payroll & HR clients included unless they opt out
- NCR Payroll & HR exports client data to Equifax
- Clients' EE's provide 800 # to perspective employers, creditors, client EEs that need information for applications, etc. (Information Requestors)
- Information Requests call the 800 # & Equifax responds back with the requested information per the data export from NCR Payroll & HR
- Equifax charges Information Requestors per transaction to verifying organization. i.e org providing loan.
The Work Number is a registered trademark of TALX Corporation, a wholly owned subsidiary of Equifax Inc. Copyright ©2019 Equifax Inc., Atlanta, Georgia. All rights reserved.