Being in the market for a job is already hard enough. With hundreds of applicants gunning for the same types of positions, it becomes increasingly difficult to get hired. Thus, doing everything in your power to ensure that you give off the right first impression is a must.
Most applicants would assume that a decent education, a well drafted resume, qualified references, and great responses to interview questions would be enough to get them the job. But depending on the type of position you’re applying for, there may be one last aspect you’ll want to consider – your credit history.
Employers and Credit Checks
Believe it or not, there are certain job types that require more than the traditional background check. Particularly if you’re looking to land a position in the financial, managerial, or governmental capacity, chances are the employer is going to check your credit report. While it may not seem fair to be judged based on your financial circumstances, employers believe that it can give them a better insight as to who you are as a candidate.
However, you shouldn’t be alarmed that an employer will randomly check your credit history. The Fair Credit Reporting Act has regulations in place which protect you as the job applicant. For example, an employer must first ask for consent to review your credit history, and more importantly, if you’re rejected for a position as a result of your credit report, the employer is required to provide you with written notice.
Why is My Credit History Important?
You get through the interview process, and the potential employer asks you to fill out forms which give them permission to do a criminal background check as well as a credit history…but what does this mean for you?
Unless you’re a criminal, chances are the background check doesn’t worry you, however, we’ve all been in a financial jam before, and so it’s only natural to worry about your credit report being review. After all, what is it that they’re looking for? What can your past or current financial accounts tell them about you as an individual?
Your Ability To Be Responsible
When applying for jobs that require a great deal of responsibility employers want to know that they’re dealing with someone who can be responsible at all times. An applicant with a poor credit history gives employers the impression that you’re not able to handle a great deal of responsibility.
Your Ability to Make Good Decisions
In financial, managerial, or governmental positions, chances are you’re going to be responsible for making effective decisions on the regular basis.
However, an individual who has several collection accounts and other delinquent accounts gives off the impression that they’re incapable of making good decisions.
The Level of Risk You Bring
Risk factor is also another aspect in which employers are checking for before making a hiring decision. An applicant that is drowning in financial debt might be more likely to steal from the company and or mismanage business financial accounts.
It’s Best to Be Proactive
Rather than wait for your rejection notice, or stress yourself out about the possibility of an employer checking your credit history it is best to be proactive about the matter.
Resolving your debts and improving your credit report can go a long way in showing potential employers that you can bounce back from a negative situation.
Below are a few suggestions on how to go about this:
1. Know Your Credit History
Knowing where you stand as it pertains to your credit history is imperative. You need to check your credit report for potential identity theft or inaccurate information.
2. Pay Minimums Timely
If you have active accounts it is important that you continue to make at least your minimum payments on the regular basis. Making timely payments over the course of a few months can help to improve your credit history and score.
3. Negotiate Negative Accounts
If you have negative accounts that are seriously delinquent or nearing collections, you’re going to want to reach out to the credit account provider and discuss your options. Often they are willing to work with you in getting the outstanding balance resolved.
4. Dispute Inaccuracies
Lastly, if you noticed that there were accounts reporting inaccurate information, or simply accounts that are not legitimately yours, you’re going to want to dispute these inaccuracies. Disputing the accounts will essentially get the information updated correctly or have the account removed altogether, therefore improving your credit history.
It may take time to clean up your credit history and improve your overall financial circumstances; however, there is an array of services out there to help you in reaching your goals. Taking the time to evaluate your personal credit history and making the necessary changes to improve it gives employers a great first impression. It shows that even when faced with difficult matters in life, you’re willing to do what it takes to get back on track.