Is Your Credit Score Hurting Your Job Search?

One of the most intangible and rarely understood aspects of job searching that plagues many applicants is how one’s credit score can influence their success. It’s frustrating enough that a lousy credit score can make securing loans and renting a house difficult, but the fact that it might also keep your finances in the red by inhibiting your odds of finding employment can be infuriating. But what if your bad credit isn’t the reason that you’re having difficulty finding employment? And if it is, what other steps can you take on determining where exactly things went wrong in your credit history? Find out if your credit score is hurting your job search:


Determine When Credit Is Relevant

The fact is, credit isn’t always the end-all problem that some make it out to be. However, it might be depending on what industry you’re seeking employment. If you’re looking for work as writer or a teacher for example, it’s seriously unlikely that your credit will tip your hiring manager’s verdict one way or the other. But if you’re seeking work in property management, finances, or home health care, your credit can be the sole purpose that you’ll be rejected. The reason that this can make a difference is due to how you’re perceived in terms of responsibility and trustworthiness. If you would be in a position of handling a great deal of money, private property, or sensitive information, you could be seen as a liability in terms of theft or embezzlement – especially if you have a criminal record. Another way your credit history can damage your application is if anything in your cover letter or resume contradicts anything in your credit history. If you make a point of crafting an underdog tale in your cover letter but demonstrate complete financial irresponsibility, you can cast a lot of doubt on your entire application. If you claim to have worked for a Fortune 500 company but filed bankruptcy twice in the past decade, your credentials might be spurious. While this can seem unfair and prejudiced, the particulars of your credit history are sometimes more significant than your score as a whole. An undeveloped credit history can be overlooked as a problem whereas one that has been destroyed with delinquency and bankruptcy can be extremely damaging. This makes it crucial to recognize the certain events that are impacting your history the worst.

Know How To Act When Credit Is A Problem

The simplest way to know if your credit history had anything to do with a job rejection is by asking. You are entitled to hear the company’s reason for your rejection whenever it happens. If you discover that your credit is to blame, it is important to receive a copy of your credit documentation and review the particular events that might have raised red flags to your potential employer. Legally speaking, you are completely allowed and encouraged to question and dispute items on your credit history. If an error is causing your credit history to plummet, you should act immediately to resolve it. It is important to receive your free annual credit report which you are entitled to and carefully monitor any doubtful pieces of credit history. Such items should be warning signs that errors, or even incidents of fraud, have slipped through the cracks against you. If your poor history is legitimate, mentioning how your situation has improved in your interview or in post-interview correspondence might be beneficial – but only if prompted. Unsolicited excuses about your credit can raise suspicion. Finally, when it comes to your credit score, the best actions are preventative. It is important to bolster your credit score during periods of economic prosperity and know how to anticipate strife before it arrives. For example, if you believe that unemployment could complicate your near future, it is better to protect your finances with income insurance than simply waiting for the axe to fall. Providers such as AAMI provide people ways to maintain a standard of living and cover their bills during periods of unemployment, which can defend your credit history in the long run. With these tips in mind, you should have a far better awareness of how credit might be impacting your job search – and what to do if it is indeed a problem. While credit can play varying levels of importance depending on your credit history and the field in which you’re seeking employment, being prepared regardless is the best frame of mind with anything related to finances. Enjoy this article? You've got time for another! Check out these related articles: Photo Credit: Shutterstock

In our new YouTube series, "Well This Happened" it's your turn to be the career coach! What would you do if you asked a coworker when the baby was due and she responded with, "I'm not pregnant." Watch the video and cast your vote b posting a comment on Youtube. We'll select one person from the correct answers at random to win free membership to the Work It Daily program. Good luck!

SHOW MORE Show less

If you've ever wondered what a Work It Daily (WID) membership could do for you, a letter we got this week provides a powerful example...

SHOW MORE Show less

There are 3 things hiring managers are trying to initially assess about you in the job interview. This video walks you through what they are looking for and offers insights into the right information to give them. Be sure to check out our free resources mentioned in the video too. They are:

SHOW MORE Show less

Last week during my Office Hours on Youtube, a client asked about how to deal with a workplace bully. After spending many years in corporate HR, I flipped to the other side and became a career therapist. So, I've seen both sides of this situation in the workplace. In this video, I discuss why people struggle to deal with bullies and what you can do to change the situation instantly.

This week, I did something that truly scared me. I sent an email to over 120,000 Work It Daily newsletter subscribers and asked them to answer the question, "What do we do?"

SHOW MORE Show less

A market correction is going to happen. When it does, layoffs will follow. I've been in the HR and recruiting industry for over two decades and have seen three recessions of varying sizes. In the video above, I explain how to tell when a recession is coming and what that means to you and your career. While many people will skip watching this. Or, will watch it and do nothing. I hope YOU are the smart, savvy professional who sees how important it is to prepare for unexpected, unwelcomed career circumstances.

SHOW MORE Show less

In this video, you'll learn how to tell if your career is plateauing due to the Executive Blues. You'll also learn what you can do to fix the problem and get your "executive energy" back so you can keep your career on track and set goals to reach new heights of success!

Want to watch the full video tutorial by J.T.?

CLICK HERE to get access!