Having good credit is no longer a plus for employment, it is mandatory. Employers want to know how financially responsible you are before they offer you a position or promotion. Basically, the credit and employment game is a huge catch-22. For example, some employers may want to know if you have a reliable means of transportation to get to work. You were considering buying a car, but you need a job to pay for it. Or, your credit is not up to par, so it is difficult to get a good deal on the vehicle of your choice, and it is keeping you from finding a good job.
So what does a bad credit score say about you to future employers? Your score reflects your ability to be financially responsible and trustworthy. Employers may see a delinquent account or a past due bill and assume that you have poor money management skills, and immediately reject your application. They look at everything from bankruptcies, collections, repossessions, late payments on bills and high credit card balances. These things scream irresponsible and unreliable, and therefore will keep you from getting the job you want. If you know your score isn’t great, you might want to bring that up before the conduct the credit check. You will at least be honest, and it gives you a chance to explain your side of the story.
Although most employers do check your credit score, it varies depending in the field of work that you choose to get in to. In any industry where you must handle other people’s money like banking, retail, or business, expect to have a credit score and criminal background check conducted. According to the Federal Trade Commission, companies are required to get your permission before accessing your credit report from the three major credit bureaus (Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion). Be mindful that when companies inquire about your credit score, it does not show up on your credit report, so you cannot see which companies requested your credit history.
Word of advice: it is extremely important to keep track of your credit report if you have student loans, credit/department store cards, and pay your own bills. These factors plus more can make or break your chances of finding a good job. Always practice money management and live within your means. Do not sign up for credit cards if you cannot pay of the balance within a two-month period. Set up a savings account and set it aside so you won’t be tempted to spend the money. If you obtain a copy of your report, make sure everything listed on there is accurate and contact the credit bureau immediately if you spot a mistake. Don’t ruin your job prospects by neglecting your credit score/report!