Should Bad Credit Ruin Your Ability to Get a Job?

Should the sins of your financial past be carried over to negatively affect your future employment status as a job applicant? TransUnion and Experian believe your bad money management skills directly speak to your trustworthiness as an employee and they want employers to pay them to smoke out your bad behavior.

In a survey released earlier this year by the Society for Human Resource Management, 13 percent of employers said they used credit checks on all job applications, while 47 percent said they used credit checks for certain applicants.

Among the employers surveyed, 54 percent said the primary reason they used credit checks was to prevent theft and embezzlement. Ninety-one percent said they used credit checks for applicants applying for positions with fiduciary or financial responsibility.

I don’t understand the need to do a credit check as part of the job application process — unless your job is directly working with money.   How does a credit check determine your ability to answer a phone or carry a box?

There are too many facets to a personality that can be hidden — we’ve seen folks like Madoff and his ilk steal blind those who preserved faith in them — and their credit records were pretty pure.

What these credit checks try to infuse into the hiring process is ping on a person’s morality and values — but personal money management doesn’t speak to someone’s goodness, it only testifies to their basic ability to solve a math problem.  The world crushes the USA in math aptitude.  Should that make our entire nation unemployable?

What companies really want is a non-vested and disinterested, mechanical memes test of character:  “Is Your Behavior Worthy of Employment?”

There is no fine way to actually determine a person’s goodness unless and until they are hired, because modern individual morality is, unfortunately, malleable and moldable based on context and situational awareness.

A good credit report doesn’t add up to a trustworthy employee.  We are all made for deception and crafted to deceive and employers won’t be able to gauge the length of our poisoned talons until, perhaps, the first paycheck has been cashed.

6 comments

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  • So some bad financial decisions and a few mistakes gives you a bad credit report and then that prevents you getting a job that would allow you so start paying off debts and working on turning around your credit score.

    As mentioned unless you are working with money then I don’t necessarily think a credit check should affect your employment potential.

    I wonder how many of the companies that do credit checks as part of the employment process also do criminal background checks?

    • Hiya Mik!

      Akismet caught you again! Gah! What luck! I guess Akismet doesn’t like talk of credit reports and such! SMILE!

      Yes, it’s crazy! You have bad credit, you need a job to make good — but you can’t get hired to work because you messed up your money. It’s absolute madness!

      I think most employers in the USA do criminal background checks now. Most job applications have questions about you ever being arrested and such — and you check a box. It’s a legal way to pry the confirmed nasties out of your queue — if you so choose.

  • Credit checks are pretty useless. There is no reason it should have anything to do with getting a job.

    • I agree, Gordon! I think they’re using these credit checks to weed out the bad people that they don’t feel they can legally reject. You can find “bad credit” on almost any new job applicant if you look hard enough.

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