Credit Scores: Can They Kill Your Job Prospects?

credit-card1As an Executive you know that a credit score impacts hiring decisions… or does it? Why are employers using credit scores in their evaluation processes? States across the country have all of the information on your balances, credit accounts and your debts. All one has to do is send in a form and get the report.

Companies and Credit Checks

According to one Society for Human Resource Management survey, there is a 47% chance an employer will look at your credit reports before they hire you, and could be the deciding factor in the hiring decision. It’s not unreasonable for a hiring company to ask an applicant to explain their personal finance decisions because those decisions will have a bearing on the way in which a possible executive will handle situations.

Any position having to do with money or management requires a second glance at your credit making decisions. Employers want to know that as an executive, you understand how to handle finances. This is also important in any human resource position where you may be creating and working with payroll.

Companies require a signature to even begin the check, and for many, the stigma that applies with saying “no” is like denying the option to take a vision exam or a breathalyzer test. It’s hard to sabotage yourself though, as long as you are honest with what the employer may find; bring it up with them before they complete the paperwork and send it off.

2013-08-20_1502The credit score has made an even larger impact in recent times in relation to the trending financial slump that millions are facing due to a recession that is sure to make the history books. Credit scores have lost a little of their once tried and true luster considering the rash loss of income for many hard working white and blue collar professionals. But regardless, you must be upfront with an employer about why there are issues on your report.

Improve Your Credit Score

You have many options to create a better debt free tomorrow:

  • Take all of your debt and consolidate them into one payment.
  • Call debtors and talk with them about arranging a payment scale.
  • And the obvious fix: pay off your debts.

These points are possible and are worked into many people’s daily lives all of the time. It’s easy to create a debt-free existence when you have a good job, but if your credit history is suppressing your possibilities, be sure to explain to your potential supervisor or coworker why they may see a red flag or two on the report.

According to a variety of responses on a recent WorkBuzz survey, many believe that credit checks are unfair. “I think that [it] is a disapproving move that an employer can check your credit and use it to decide if they want to hire you or not. There are many things in life that can cause one to have bad credit. What about companies that go bankrupt and go under a different name when they open back up? The person that has a bad credit history should be able to go under a different name and reestablish their credit

Perhaps, or perhaps we should take it in stride, realize that the company is looking for the best possible people to work with them, and deal with it. If you are worried about your credit history, bring it up and make them aware. They will see your true capability shine when you admit your flaws. For more strategies about interviewing, see Stewart, Cooper & Coon, an executive placement firm that specializes in assisting individual executives find employment and organizations find and develop top-level leadership teams.

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