When Job Hunting, Are Credit Scores Important to Employers?

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Many job seekers fear not only the background checks but also the financial background checks  many employers conduct as part of their hiring process. While some may think these credit checks are unfair, sometimes they’re simply unavoidable.

The good news is that having bad credit will not automatically prevent you from acquiring employment. Telling the truth and being prepared to explain your financial setbacks to a prospective employer can even make you stand out among a sea of applicants. If on a job search with bad credit or fair, here are some helpful tips that might help you get hired.

Conduct a credit check

Many employers and companies check their job applicants’ credit reports, especially if the positions being applied to are ones involving money (financial advisors, accountants, etc) or a high level executive position that relates to a company’s financial well-being.

An applicant whose credit report contains a lot of missed payments/delinquencies may be deemed irresponsible, negligent, and lacking integrity.

Bring the issues up first

Employers usually conduct a credit check after your first interview or when they finally offer you the job. Regardless of when they choose to check your credit, however, it’s not a bad idea to bring up financial issues first – as well as other issues – that go beyond credit checks.

If your credit score has plummeted due to situations out of your control, it might be better to bring that information up to a potential employer.

Medical issues, home damage or any other problem that has stressed your finances, if explained to your employer, will have a positive effect. You can then let them know why your score is so low, and avoid them eventually finding out themselves and forming their own opinions.

Pre-screen the job position as well as the company

A good way to raise your chances of getting hired is to apply to companies that do not conduct credit checks as part of their hiring process. If the job needs you to have a security clearance, the company is working with the government, or you are applying for a management position or higher, you should expect that a credit check will be performed. If that’s the case, seeking credit repair assistance may help your job prospects.

Apply for the job

Even so, don’t avoid applying for jobs with companies that require credit checks. Take the risk and apply for the job because there’s really nothing to lose. While some companies reject applicants with bad credit right away, you may come across some that are more tolerant of your financial issues. They may be willing to give you a chance to explain your situation and prove your integrity.

By applying to companies that do and do not conduct credit checks simultaneously, you dramatically improve your chances of getting hired. If you’re working in an industry that requires good financial background, you may need to seek positions outside of your expertise until your score is at an acceptable level.

Gain momentum

Regardless, do not let your bad credit get in the way of finding employment. While on the search with have bad credit, aim for a fair credit score and then continue to improve.

Keep in mind that not all future employers think alike. While some may shun you right away, there will be others who will give you a chance to explain and prove that you have fully recovered from your financial setbacks and are the perfect candidate for the job.

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