YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio (WKBN) – Millions of people were laid off or lost their job entirely due to the pandemic. That break in employment could ultimately have an impact on your credit score.

According to experts at Equifax, simply losing your job should not affect your credit score, but it is possible that your credit history could be affected if you fall behind on payments, even during the pandemic and it was no fault of your own.

That’s why it is important that if you have fallen behind on payments, contact your lender. Many are being flexible with payments plans right now, but don’t expect that flexibility to last forever.

According to Equifax, the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act requires that lenders report that a borrower is current on their payments if that borrower was current when they sought an accommodation during the pandemic.

It’s a good idea to check your credit report to ensure they are accurately reflecting any agreements you’ve made with lenders.

If you are behind, now many not the right time to seek new lines of credit or start charging things. It seems like a catch 22 because if you are already behind, it may be enticing to start using credit accounts. But Equifax experts advise holding off if you can.

If you lost your job and are looking for a new one, a new employer may check your credit, but they can’t do that without your written consent. Some states have created laws that prevent an employer from using your credit history in the hiring process but Ohio is not one of them.