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Your Credit Card Company May Be Asking About Your Job Status

As consumers scramble for financial lifelines, lenders get more cautious.

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Illustration: Yann Bastard for Bloomberg Businessweek

Credit card lenders have a new task topping their to-do lists: figuring out who still has a job. It’s harder than you might think.

A clampdown on credit is coming. A chorus of lenders, from Discover Financial Services to Capital One Financial Corp. to Synchrony Financial, have said they’ve begun to tighten up. The measures vary by company but can include tougher underwriting, handing out smaller loans, or reducing the number of credit line increases for customers. Some lenders are also doing more employment verification.