You've worked hard, you've kept your nose clean and you're sure that you can pass even a stringent background check. You've even put in the time and effort to make sure that you'll come out smelling like a rose if a potential employer decides to check your online reputation. You're sure that you're in the clear… but have you checked your credit? An employer checking applicants' credit records and scores isn't anything new. It is something that has been done for the last couple of decades. According to CBS, about half of all employers will not just check an applicant's credit but use bad or negligible credit histories against an applicant during the decision process. It's a terrible place in which to be, especially since getting a good job is precisely what can help someone repair and rebuild their credit standing. So what do you do? How do you make sure that your credit won't keep you from getting that dream job (or any job at all, given this market)?
1. Obtain A Copy Of Your ReportDo not fall for any of the online ads offering you credit monitoring for X amount of dollars each month. Right now your primary concern is getting your hands on your report and your score. Here's the good news: every single person in the US is entitled to one free copy of their report from each of the main credit reporting agencies (Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion) every year. The best place to get these reports is through AnnualCreditReport.com. Annual Credit Report is the only credit reporting portal that has been endorsed by the US government. Note: Annual Credit Report is just a portal. Don't freak out when it sends you to the primary websites for Experian, Equifax, and TransUnion.
2. Correct Any MistakesAccording to LexingtonLaw.com, a quarter of US residents have mistakes in their credit report. Even worse, those mistakes are often enough to considerably drag down your credit score and history! Luckily, you are allowed to dispute everything reported in your report. If the reporting agency cannot verify the item's legitimacy, it will be removed from your record. Go through those reports with a fine toothed comb. Look them over more carefully than you did your senior thesis. Dispute every single mistake you see, no matter how minor it might seem! Every correction helps you out.
3. Get On Track FinanciallyKeeping your finances intact while you're searching out your dream job doesn't need to be difficult. Here are the basics:
- Don't spend more than you have/are earning.
- Pay more than the minimum amount due on your cards and loans every single month (never pay late).
- Put money away into savings. Even five bucks each week is helpful.
- 6 Tips For Managing Your Finances During A Career Transition
- The #1 Financial Mistake Career Changers Make
- How To Pay The Bills While Pursuing Your Dream Career