Job InterviewIs your bad credit history keeping your from getting a job? Bad credit is certainly not a positive when job hunting and having a lot of credit problems is one thing that potential employers are very leery of when they run background checks on potential hires. Why is it that finding a job with bad credit can be so difficult? How does one go about getting a job with bad credit?

Bad Credit = No Job (in the eyes of many employers)

The Wall Street Journal recently reported that more and more employers are conducting background checks that ultimately dive deep in an individual’s credit history before making an ultimate hiring decision. It seems that there are two things that are combining into a “perfect storm” that makes finding a good job with bad credit that much more difficult:

A) The recent mortgage mess & economic downturn has made it more and more common that job seekers have loan defaults, mortgage modifications, home foreclosures, high credit card debt, etc. in their credit history – all of which are warning signs to potential employers.

B) The current high unemployment rate allows employers to be that much more picky about whom they choose to hire. Everything else being equal, an individual with bad credit is considered to be a higher risk to an employer than an individual with good credit.

Can Bad Credit Keep You from Getting a Job?

Bad credit can most certainly prevent someone from getting a job. Not all jobs and job qualifications and criteria are the same of course but the federal Fair Credit Reporting Act allows employers to run a background check and credit report check on prospective employees as long as the employee consents (refusing to let a potential employer run a background check or check your credit history is usually a red flag to employer’s that is almost bigger than the red flag that goes up with a very bad credit report so refusing to sign the credit check waiver is usually not advised if you really want a shot at getting the job).

How to Get a Job with Bad Credit

There are two main courses of action that one can take to get a job with bad credit:

A) Find an employer that will hire someone with bad credit. Often this is just a numbers game so be prepared for many different interviews and many different job applications because you will likely have to wade through a lot of chaff to get to the wheat.

B) Improve your credit score. This sounds easy but of course it requires discipline, hard work, and common sense. A few practical steps would be to get a free copy of your credit report which you are entitled to once per year by law at AnnualCreditReport.com although you will most likely also want to sign up for a paid service that will not only give you access to your credit report but also your credit score and credit report monitoring to let you know if there are changes to your credit report so that you can correct any errors and keep track of your (hopefully) increasing credit score. You can view some of the various credit report monitoring companies at the free credit score page. Also, use a secured credit card or a bad credit credit card that reports to the 3 major credit reporting bureaus to make purchases and pay off the balance in full each month as a history of on time payments and low credit card balances will increase your credit score over time.

Do YOU Have any Bad Credit Job Hunting Stories?

What ideas do YOU have for finding a job even with bad credit?

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6 Responses to “Getting a Job with Bad Credit is Tough!”

  1. I wonder if there’s a minimum level that’s good enough i.e. 600 and above, AOK?

    Tyler k at GRS boasts how he took advantage of the system, and hasn’t been affected at all with poor credit. Maybe it might be tough down the road, but I guess not yet.

    • Joel says:

      I would imagine that there are certain types of jobs that are much more credit history sensitive than many others, wouldn’t you think?

  2. Victorino says:

    Usually, employers don’t check the credit history of applicants. However, it is still a good move for them to assess how an applicant deal with credit obligations and responsibility. That’s right, find employers who ignore credit history and or improve your credit score. But between the two, I like the idea of improving our credit scores.

    • Michael says:

      Your comment is very, very ignorant.

      Many people that are in debt are responsible, but probably lost their jobs and couldn’t pay their bills, and probably they have a family to support as well, student loans, etc.

      Other people have had health problems that prevented them from working. This is very common. Or there are others who have had a medical emergency for themselves or their loved ones and too many hospital bills that ruined their credit.

      Just because these situations haven’t happened to you, thank your luck and don’t judge others as irresponsible, jerk.

      It is total discrimination to check a person’s credit history for a job, I hope it becomes illegal in all states soon. I believe laws to ban it have been passed in 3 or 4 states already.

  3. Karen McCutcheon says:

    My credit is not good and even thought I have a lot of experience my

    bad credit weighs heavy on my mind. Do you feel letters of reference

    would have some effect on the type of job I do. My work is the best I can

    do and I feel I have gone out of the way to fill in here and there. I guess

    I am looking for something to counteract the bad credit.

    Karen McCutcheon

  4. Pamela says:

    Improving your credit requires, get this, a JOB! Which you can’t get if your credit is bad. Finding employers or job types that don’t check credit, in this crappy economy, is the only solution.

    People don’t THINK before they make suggestions. How are you supposed to clean up your credit when no one will HIRE you so you have no JOB and the bills just go further and further into default — win the lottery??

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