How your credit score can affect your job search

How your credit score can affect your job search

Background checks and drug testing of prospective employees have become routine in most industries. Most job seekers understand that the background check will include criminal and employment history. Unfortunately, many do not realize that the majority of all background checks include your credit score. Disclosure of this information requires consent. Ask if the basic check consent includes a credit report. Refusal to consent to a background check, of course, raises major red flags and immediately eliminates the candidate from serious consideration for the job. The key here is preparation. When consent is given for a basic check, make sure you know in advance what to expect. Every American is entitled to an annual free credit check. Be sure to request this report. This will allow for errors to be corrected on your credit report. If there is legitimate negative information in the report, you can try to resolve the issue or at least be prepared for tough questions from a future employer.

Although employers may hire an applicant with financial problems, a low credit score may affect your chances of a job offer. This is especially true if the open position involves financial responsibility. If your job search involves a recruiter, make sure you inform them of any negative information that may be revealed. This will allow the recruitment specialist to advise you if and when the situation should be discussed with a prospective employer. Depending on the company and position, a low credit score it could be the end of the job opportunity. If that’s the case, don’t waste your time or the interviewer’s time. On the other hand, the recruiter may be able to discuss the situation with the employer and pave the way for an interview and a final job offer.

If the open position does not describe the necessary requirements for your credit score, you may not need to discuss credit matters until a serious job offer has been made and you know that a credit check is imminent. At this point, request a meeting with the appropriate person, most likely someone from Human Resources. Take a copy of your credit report to the appointment. Be prepared to explain what caused the low score, mention that it did not affect previous work, and explain what you are doing to raise the score.

In summary, do your homework and get a copy of your credit report, fix any mistakes, take steps to improve your score, and be honest. With honesty and a positive attitude, a prospective employer may be willing to give you the opportunity to prove yourself worthy of the job.

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