Six Ways Bad Credit Affects Getting a Job


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Having bad credit can have an impact on many areas of one’s life. Thankfully, if your credit is in bad shape, we specialize in credit repair. We will help you get your credit report looking as it should so that you can begin to qualify for the things that you deserve.

It may actually surprise you to know just how many things a bad credit score can have an impact on. The most obvious is when it comes to getting a loan. This can be something like an automotive loan, a student loan from a private lender, or a mortgage for a home.

Getting a credit card that doesn’t carry one of the highest interest rates in the industry will be next to impossible if you can get one at all. While there are cards for those with bad credit, they are rarely easy or convenient for the card holder.

Having bad credit can also have an impact on your ability to get a job depending on the industry in which you are applying. It may not seem like an employer would check your credit score, but 29% of employers in the United States do.

But why check a credit score? After all, a background check and employment history should give an employer a good idea of what a potential employee will be like, so why would there be the need to run a credit check?

That’s because a credit check, even one that shows a shortened version of the credit history, can give an employer an idea about how reliable you are. It isn’t the only thing that an employer considers, but it could be one of those things that ruin a potentially good fit.

Here are six ways that bad credit can affect getting a job.

Bad Credit Can Be Seen as Irresponsible

One of the things that a potential employer is looking for in a prospective candidate is an inherent responsibility. They want to ensure that the person they are bringing onboard will do their job and can be trusted to take care of their responsibilities.

Though a credit report is not necessarily indicative of a person, it can paint a picture of irresponsibility to a prospective employer. They may see missed payments or negative remarks as an indication that you can’t be responsible.

For most jobs, a bad credit report won’t necessarily be enough to dissuade an employer, but it could be enough to push you the wrong way. Keep in mind, though, that employers are only able to see a limited credit report. So, if your negative remarks aren’t in the recent past, you might be okay when it comes time for your credit to be pulled.

Bad Credit Can Be Seen as Lacking Organization

There is one potential misconception about bad credit and that is that there is a level of disorganization to that person. Maybe they just forgot to pay their bill on time once or twice (or a few times) and those negative remarks led to damage in their credit.

Most positions will require some level of organization and responsibility. That potential employer wants to be certain that you will not only be able to do your job but that you will be able to do so without becoming highly disorganized.

When disorganization happens, it can lead to confusion and mistakes. When those things happen, it can either delay the job being done or result in it being done the wrong way. In any event, that disorganization can result in time and money lost.

An employer checking your credit report is looking for any and all indications for how you operate. A bad credit score can paint a picture of irresponsibility and disorganization and can wind up costing you the job.

Bad Credit Paints a Picture of Financial Distress

Another common trait that employers are looking for in a potential candidate is trustworthiness in that employee. They don’t want to have to question the trustworthiness of that employee because that is time spent worrying about something other than the job at hand.

If you have a high credit utilization or excessive debt, it can paint a picture of financial distress to that employer. That may not seem like something relevant to an employer, but that financial distress may be something to concern them.

In their eyes, someone with financial distress may be an increased threat to commit theft or fraud. Because you are a stranger to them, they don’t know your moral fabric. They can’t just assume that you would not commit fraud or theft, they have to take the necessary steps to protect the business as well as their job.

Again, viewing your credit score is not a science. There is no formula that tells an employer who you are, what your morals are, and how you will be as an employee. They will only be able to come to their own conclusions based on the information being presented to them.

Bad Credit Can Imply Bad Decision Making

Depending on the type of position that you are applying for, a bad credit report can sway an employer into thinking that you are a bad decision maker. Again, your credit report won’t tell someone how you got there, just that you are in the position that you are in.

Bad things happen to people that can get them into financial trouble and reflect on their credit report. But an employer looking at your credit report will only show a history of bad decision-making. Your credit report will only present a perception of you.

If an employer thinks that you are a bad decision-maker, they may not be likely to hire you. They want to be certain that you will be able to make decisions on the job without having your hand held. If they can’t feel confident in your ability to do just that, they are unlikely to hire you.

Bad Credit Implies a Mishandling of Money

A bad credit score can be particularly difficult if you are applying for a job in the financial industry, like a bank or other type of financial institution. If that position requires the handling of money or finances, the employer needs to be able to trust that you can handle those funds in a responsible way.

In a position like that, any lost or misappropriated funds are a very serious issue. Not only can it lead to potential issues with the customer, it can actually violate federal financial laws that are in place to protect the customers of these institutions.

An employer hiring for those positions needs to be able to trust in the person that they hire. Seeing a bad credit report can indicate that you are bad with your own finances. This may lead them to believe that you would be a poor fit for a job handling the finances of others.

Even if a mishandling of finances isn’t the reason for your credit report – plenty of people have been knocked down to a bad credit score due to massive medical bills, for instance – your potential employer will not see that. All they will see is a bad credit score.

Keep in mind that if you apply for a position at a financial institution, your credit report will likely get pulled. That could be the difference between landing that position and having to continue the job search.

Bad Credit Affects General Perception

Like it or not, a bad credit score can and likely will reflect poorly on you as a person. It isn’t fair, but that is the truth of the situation. Those with a bad credit score land in that position for a variety of reasons, but they all lead to the same place.

An employer may not be looking for specific things on your credit report; they just want to see how responsible you are. If they see anything that counters that responsibility that they are looking for, they may be inclined to just turn you down for the job and move forward.

When you are applying for a job, take a look at your credit report. Know what is on there, what employers may see, and how it may impact your trajectory. Do what you can to keep your credit score in a good place so that it doesn’t have an impact on any potential employment opportunities.

Having bad credit is not the end of the world and it isn’t necessarily indicative of who you are as a person, but it will be judged in any event. Fair or not, it paints a picture to your future employers as to your trustworthiness and responsibility level.

Not all employers check your credit report, but be aware that some will and that it could have a drastic impact on your ability to get that job. Knowing your credit score will give you a good idea of what you can qualify for beforehand and what to avoid.

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