Everything You Need to Know About Credit Scores and Jobs

A statistic reported by Inc. Magazine could be troublesome for job seekers with poor credit scores. According to a survey cited by the magazine, about 60 percent of employers run credit checks on potential job applicants at least some of the time.
Given the high unemployment rate, this eye-opener about credit scores and jobs could be concerning for people with low credit scores, particularly those searching for jobs that require money management. An employer—fearful that a poor credit score is a sign of irresponsibility—might not offer a job to a candidate with bad credit.
If you have a low credit score and are searching for a job, fear not. Two rules can offset your low credit score.
Credit Scores and Jobs Rule #1: Be sure to highlight other areas of your life that demonstrate responsibility. Have you been entrusted with the position of treasurer for a nonprofit organization? Do you have a glowing letter of recommendation from a previous employer who charged you with tasks that required a tremendous amount of trust, loyalty, and responsibility?
Credit Scores and Jobs Rule #2: If you are able to show that you are trustworthy, your credit score might be overlooked, particularly if you explain the events that caused your bad credit. Your best bet is to be candid with a possible employer who is going to run your credit report. Since the recession has had unfortunate consequences for many people, the employer might be sympathetic to your plight. Pitch your situation as a learning experience so that you can show the employer that you are wiser as a result of your mistakes.
By taking serious steps to repair your credit, your credit report might indicate that you have had a shift in the positive direction. If you walk into a job interview armed with a the facts about your credit score, how you have turned over a new leaf, and what your credit report indicates about your current behavior, a potential employer might be sympathetic, especially if you have extenuating circumstances brought on by the recession.
Though credit checks for job applicants might create barriers in the already-tight job market, employers are also likely to value an honest account of your situation. When it comes to credit scores and jobs, be sure you are ready to be forthright about your past mistakes and able to offer evidence of your progress. In doing so, you allow employers to look past that three-digit number and offer you the job.