Poor Credit Ruining my Job Prospects
Recently I've been denied interviews with hiring managers due to my credit report. My house was foreclosed on 3 years ago. During the initial sale, they split my mortgage. One shows foreclosed on, the other shows charge off. To potential employers it looks like I opened a line of credit and let it go down with my house. Right after that, I moved in with a friend. She sued me for crazy things. Out of $4000 she initially sued me for, the judge awarded her a $1000 plus court costs and fees. She just came around to suing me... 2 years later. So I have a judgment made against me, and a $70,000 charge off account. What do I do when they ask me for permission to run my credit? And is there anything I can do or say to get around this obstacle?
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Mike Petras responds:
Sorry to hear of your credit woes that are interfering with your job search. I hope I can share with you a few ideas to help you move forward.
The good news is that although 60% of companies claim to check your credit as part of their hiring process, only 13% actually check it, according to a May 2010 USA Today article (link to article no longer available). According to this article, 16 states have introduced legislation to ban the practice, and 2 states have already done so...Hawaii and Washington.
Here is an update about this trend published in the Chicago Tribune, September 11, 2011, Poor Credit Endangering Job Prospects
In my experience as an executive recruiter, most companies won't check your credit until after
your job interview. This gives you a chance to impress hiring authorities and win them over before
they prejudge you on a credit number.
There is an old saying, "You can form a mind, but you can't change a mind".
In other words, if you do well in your interview and form a positive impression in the minds of the hiring managers, your weak credit score may be overlooked...or possibly not even checked. So, it's very important that you interview well.
Even so, you should do everything you can to improve your credit history. There is an excellent article on MSN Money, How bad credit can cost you a job
, that contains several links to other articles and advice on how to boost your credit score and overcome credit problems.
The judgment against you is more problematic and could be viewed more negatively by employers. Your best bet would be to hire an attorney, but if you're unemployed or on a tight budget, you may not be able to afford it.
Here are a couple of good resources for you to investigate:
Lastly...don't despair. Keep applying for jobs and moving forward. Many companies won't check your credit, and others might give you an opportunity to explain your situation. You must be prepared by having a short (30 seconds) explanation that makes sense and is believable. If you hem and haw and ramble on and on for 2-3 minutes, most companies will reject you.
Also, if you were wrong and deserved the judgment, you'd be better off admitting it and letting the chips fall where they may. Tell them what you learned from it and share your commitment to not repeat it. Most people want to forgive others, but if they sense you can't be trusted, it's just easier for them not to hire you.
All the best with your search. Hope you can resolve this quickly.
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