Few people realize that having a high credit score can be beneficial when searching for a job. While it is obvious that a high credit score will affect getting a loan, the fact is that by law an employer can refuse to hire an applicant based solely on their credit report.
Employers may feel that credit history is a fair representation of a potential employee.
They may believe that responsibility, judgment and even work performance is reflected on a credit report. Perhaps credit history could be an indicator of the type of employee someone will be.
However, on the other side of the coin, there are consumer advocates that think that the practice of using credit reports in hiring is an unfair means of discrimination against potential employees. They rightly point out that difficult times and circumstances can happen to anyone and many times bad credit is beyond our control.
Regardless of which side of the argument you stand, the fact is that the information contained on your credit report can play a huge role in your prospective job search. One consideration though is that a potential employer must have your express permission to run a credit report. Be sure you read the fine print on every application that you sign.
If your credit report is good then, of course, there is no problem in letting a potential employer see your credit report. However, in the current economy, many people have had credit problems that have never had negative credit in the past. If you do have some negative credit, you need to know what you can do to minimize the impact of your credit on your life and your job search.
Make sure that you know what is showing on your credit report. Take advantage of the free yearly report that you can get from each of the three major credit-reporting agencies, Equifax, TransUnion and Experian. Review each report line-by-line looking for discrepancies that you can dispute. You can dispute anything that is inaccurate, erroneous or invalid.
You can submit disputes on the inaccurate credit and it is possible to get it removed from your account. You can complete credit repair on your own or you may want to consider the services of a professional credit repair service, but it is important to do as much as you can to improve your credit and clean up your report.
However, keep in mind that credit repair can be a time-consuming process. You may not be able to complete any repairs before the big job interview. If your bad credit is affecting your job possibilities you may need to just explain the problem to your potential employer and hope that they may overlook your mistakes of the past.
Photo via Flickr by Kate Hiscock