Searching various job boards, reaching out to friends and previous co-workers, and going on numerous interviews are all part of the job seeking experience. What you may not know is most states allow employers to run credit checks as part of their pre-employment background screening. The financial woes coming from not having a job could be keeping you from getting a job. It’s a vicious cycle that you can get on top of and get under control. Sometimes bad things happen to good people. How you handle it and respond makes the difference.
Prepare yourself for the pre-employment credit check by checking it yourself first. you can check once per year for free through AnnualCreditReport.com. Each report will be individual, they do not show your credit scores, and they can be difficult to read. You may want to look in other credit monitoring options that show all three of the major credit bureaus and scores combined.
Once you know what it is on your report you will be able to address, or at the minimum explain your situation to a potential employer. be honest and sincere. If your financial hardship stems from a layoff or job loss, tell them. Tell them you are eager to work hard to better your situation for yourself and/or your family. Everyone appreciates honesty, right?
Aside from your sincerity and honesty, checking your own report before an employer does can keep you from making a mistake. When you apply for credit and list your employer it is reported to the bureaus. Did you leave an employer off your resume that may show up on your credit report? That could raise a red flag for an HR department.
In summary, pay your bills on time, maintain proper credit usage, and follow sounds credit advice. Over time your credit will improve and your credit scores will increase. In the short term, stay on top of what is being reported and be prepared to answer tough questions.