Can My Bad Credit Score Prevent Me From Getting A Job?
While credit checks are most commonly used to determine a potential borrower's creditworthiness, many employers use them to gauge a job applicant's overall trustworthiness and responsibility level.
This rings especially true if the job in question involves managing large amounts of money. If one can’t responsibly manage their finances, then there’s little reason to believe they’ll do so in their professional life.
If you have a low score, it doesn’t necessarily mean you won’t get the job. However, it could potentially hurt your efforts. In other words, getting a job with bad credit might be difficult, but not impossible. Legally, should an employer wish to pull your financial history, you must give consent and be allowed to explain any negative items included within it.
If you have bad credit and are facing an employment background check, here’s what to do.
What Can I Do If My Potential Employer Brings Up My Bad Credit Score?
- Explain how you have changed: Sometimes, one may find themselves in a situation that makes it difficult to act financially responsible. This can happen to anyone at any point, and the most important part is how they respond. An employer will be more likely to look past your poor credit history if you can provide them with a detailed explanation of how you’re proactive in making positive changes
- Explain what happened: If your lackluster financial history is due to some unforeseen circumstance, such as a medical emergency or home damages, it may be worth mentioning this. Hiring managers are people too, and they may sympathize with your situation if they understand that it was out of your control
- Work to improve your score: If you know you’ll be entering the job market shortly, you can take steps to improve your score before applying for jobs. How effective this is will depend largely on your financial situation. For tips on how to effectively increase your rating in as little as 30 days, watch the video below
- Give a killer interview and convince them you’re right for the job: A job applicant's financial record is just one of several factors an employer can use to determine how strong a candidate is, and it’s by no means a deal-breaker. The best way to mediate any potential damage done by a poor report is to give an excellent interview. You should highlight your past accomplishments and skills as well as demonstrate that you're a top-quality candidate
- Seek employment that doesn’t require a background check for bad credit. There are certain jobs you can get with bad credit. For instance, some junior roles and positions that don’t revolve around accounting or handling cash. It might be in your best interest to pursue such occupations if you keep finding yourself denied jobs because of your poor credit
Check The Credit Reports To Know Where You Stand
All employers are legally obligated to allow an applicant to explain their report. Should you find yourself in this position, it’s essential to have a solid understanding of precisely what’s included. Those wishing to check their report can do so here.
Most of the time, creditors are diligent in reporting correct information to bureaus. However, errors do occur, and such faults can make your financial history look worse than it actually is. Before consenting to a credit check, ensure that all the information contained within your record is current and accurate.
What Information Will Employers Have Access To?
Not all states allow employers to use an applicant's financial history as part of the hiring process. Furthermore, if an employer does seek out this information, they end up receiving a modified report, and not the same one a lender would use to approve or deny a loan application.
This modified report won’t include certain information that can be used to discriminate against a potential job candidate, such as FICO scores and past bankruptcies. Instead, they’ll see current debts and payment history.
The Bottom Line
Poor credit history won’t automatically disqualify you as an applicant, but it can certainly have negative consequences on your application as a whole. Therefore, it’s best to get ahead of the game and be prepared to answer and explain any issues that a potential hirer might have as to why your financial report is less than desirable.