As any employee or employer knows, the right candidate for any job depends largely on reliability and accountability. In today’s market, employers use every avenue of information-gathering to weed through potential candidates. Most people with poor credit understand the ways in which a bad score can negatively affect their lives. A poor credit score can influence your marketability as a prospective employee, and it may be a deciding factor for whether you actually get the job. Many in the credit repair field - consumers and professionals - understand the potential unfairness of this practice. Industry professional Adam Levin writes: “One 2010 study from the Society of Human Resource Management estimates that 60% of companies checked some (or all) job applicants’ credit reports. This is a practice that many people understandably find objectionable – some find it offensive. After all, credit reports often have errors. Nevertheless, it’s a reality — one that anyone looking for a job needs to consider.”
The bottom line is: your credit information is available to your employers. If you’re in the process of repairing your credit, but you’re still dealing with a poor credit score, here are some things to consider for job-hunting process.
Step 1. Get Your Reports - Know Your Reports
If you think your employer is going to look at your credit report, it’s essential that you’re familiar with its contents with more than just a general understanding. There are many resources for obtaining free copies of your credit reports. This is the first step - dive into that often murky water of negative and positives items on your report. Understand what it means, and make a plan for the next step.
Step 2. Take Action to Fix Any False Information or Mistakes
This is the most important step for job-seekers. It is common to find mistakes and inaccurate information on anyone’s credit report. Once you evaluate your reports, it’s time to take action to amend possible negative items. This may take time, so follow through diligently and consider the use of credit repair professionals to make this step easier and quicker for you. There are ways to add positive items, delete negative items, and increase your credit score - but you need a plan to make it happen. In-action is not an option.
Step 3. Justify Items that Need Explanation
Although there may be inaccurate information on your report, there may be some negative items that are accurate, but stem from unfortunate events. If you experienced a serious health problem, a lay-off, a death in the family, an ex-spouse who missed payments, etc., then you should explain the circumstances that led to the negative item(s). If you have a negative item that occurred because of extenuating circumstances, you have the right to attach a 100 word explanation. This will show up on your report, and it will help you in two ways: it will indicate that you’re aware and on-top of your credit issues, and that you’re diligent in defending and amending your credit history.
Step 4. Apply and Comply
Once you’ve cleaned up your credit report, allow the job-hunting to begin. Most companies require consent before obtaining a credit report. It is in your best interest to comply with this process. Allow your employers access to your credit history. Although it may seem safer to keep this information private, any HR representative will say that refusing any information indicates problems. If you’re actively applying and you’ve followed the aforementioned steps to right your reports, you should feel less afraid of baring that information. This is why Step 2 is crucial - take the time to adequately and efficiently clean your credit history and boost your score; it will positively affect everything moving forward.
Step 5. Be Prepared to Discuss Your Report
You may be asked about your credit history in an interview. If this is the case, take initiative and provide all the facts and circumstances relating to the negative items on your report. At this point, some of your credit should be improved, so you would only have to provide a brief explanation of remaining items. Take initiative to start and stop the conversation. Be clear, concise, and honest about your credit, but take control to move the conversation toward your qualifications for the job. Indicate through your handle of the matter that your qualifications should be the primary focus of conversation.
Step 6. If All Else Fails, Ask Why
If you think you were denied a job based on your credit history, ask why. Use this as a learning experience for the next interview. Inquire if the employee checked all three credit bureaus (some may only check one). It could be a good practice to bring all three copies of your credit report from the major bureaus. Be courteous, but assertive about your curiousity in the matter.
The best practice is to be prepared. Most interviews are daunting enough without the added stress of credit report history. But it doesn’t have to be a stressful experience because of your credit. Above all, be aware of your credit report and take action to boost your score and revitalize your financial history.
You can turn around your financial situation, and we know how to do it. Explore the possibilities for a happier, debt-free life! Contact us today at 877-335-9043 or firstname.lastname@example.org.