Think your credit history is only used to determine your creditworthiness? Think again. A poor credit report can even affect your job search. The relationship between one’s credit rating and one’s employability is stronger than ever. With a tight job market employers want to make sure they can trust their employees and many employers view poor credit as a sign of irresponsibility and risk.
One survey by the Society for Human Resource Management shows that in 2004 roughly 35% of employers used credit checks as a potential employee screening method. This is a considerable increase from previous years and the trend does not appear it will reverse itself anytime soon.
So how does one make sure their credit rating will not affect their job search? The first step is identifying what is on their credit report. The Fair and Accurate Credit Transaction Act of 2003 (FACTA) makes it possible for everyone to receive a free copy of their credit report once a year. If you have not checked yours lately this would be a great place to start. Even better, sign up with a credit monitoring service for near instant notification of changes to your credit.
After obtaining a copy of your credit report it is important to clean up any areas that may affect your job search. While an overall score can affect your job search, Title 11 of the U.S. Code prohibits employers from discriminating against someone who has filed for bankruptcy. Also, if your employment application is rejected because of poor credit the employer is required to notify you. Knowing these rights can protect you in the future.
Before beginning that job search take the time to review your credit and clear up any issues. If you do see any red flags be sure to learn your rights under Title 11 of the U.S. Code. You don’t want to miss out on your dream job because of a few forgotten bills from the past.