Checking Your Credit Score for a Job?!

by · 6 comments

in WAH Discussion

credit check for employmentThere are many companies, both online and off, that do a mandatory credit check before offering you employment. This kind of stinks because it means if you have bad credit and really need a job to get your bills paid and get back on your feet, you might not be able to if you fail the credit check.

Discrimination?

There are a lot of people who are 100 percent against this practice and consider it a form of discrimination. In fact, some people have raised such an uproar about it that the state of California finally put a law into place restricting companies from pulling a credit report before hiring a person.

My Opinion

I’ll be honest. I am not at all in favor of checking credit before hiring and I think that companies who have this in place are operating under the assumption that if you have bad credit, it’s somehow a character flaw. I disagree with this because sometimes things happen that are beyond your control (sudden medical issues, etc. that end up going to collections because you can’t pay back the bills for example). And even if it is in your control, well, we all make mistakes. Doesn’t mean we don’t want to do better and it doesn’t make us all “bad” people not worthy of being hired.

Of course, I’m sure there are plenty of people who are extremely dishonest with bad credit, but then there are probably plenty of extremely dishonest people with good credit, too. I think the assumptions aren’t really fair. It would be such a shame to lose out on a job you’re 110&% qualified for all because of your credit score. :(

The Opposing Argument

The companies who do these claim that checking credit first prevents them from hiring people who have had past money troubles that might not be trustworthy. In the brick and mortar world, you’ll see the credit check a prerequisite fairly often if you are applying for a job that would require you to handle a lot of money. When you work at home, a credit check will occasionally be done if you’re applying for a customer service position where you’re privy to very sensitive information from others, such as credit card numbers or social security numbers.

How Bad is too Bad?

Before you go into complete panic mode over having your credit score checked, rest assured that as far as working from home is concerned, most companies do NOT require a perfect credit score before hiring you. It’s not like you’re trying to buy a house or a car. So don’t let a bad score stop you from putting in your app. Also, I’ve primarily just seen this with the phone customer service jobs. There are very few other work at home positions out there where you’d have to submit to having your credit pulled before working.

Bad Timing

I think it’s really unfortunate that all these companies are doing this now, with the current state of the economy the way it is. More people than ever are seeing their credit scores fall due to circumstances that are beyond their control. This just makes it even harder to get a job when you really need one.

Find Out Your Score

If you’re interested in knowing, right now, what your credit score is,  you can go to this site called Credit Sesame and get it for free with no waiting. This is not one of those “trial” offers. You will not be asked for your credit card information at all. You simply visit the site, put in your information, and they’ll give you your credit score for free with no strings attached. Keep in mind though that Credit Sesame will only pull your score from one of the three major credit bureaus. Still, this should give you a good idea of roughly where you’re at. They’ll also send you tips to help you increase it.

Go here to get your free credit score from Credit Sesame

How do you feel about credit checks for employment? Please share/vent below.

Note: This post contains affiliate links. Read my disclosure policy here.  

{ 6 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Carol May 11, 2012 at 8:17 am

Thanks for this very informative post, it is really helpful and very useful. :)

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2 Erica May 11, 2012 at 10:47 am

I can understand the reasoning behind checking someone’s credit if they’re going to be handling money or even going to be privvy to sensitive credit card information… but if companies are requiring a credit checks for jobs where money or credit card information isn’t going to be handled, then I agree that it doesn’t make sense at all. There are other ways to find out if a person is reliable, like by checking references.

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3 Erica May 11, 2012 at 10:48 am

And I LOVE Credit Sesame – I signed up after reading about it on one of your blogs, and found out I was eligible for a Chase credit card :).

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4 Chelle May 11, 2012 at 9:48 pm

I don’t think that this is a good idea even if they are handling a large amount of money or privy to sensitive info. I’ve had several bad things happen over the course of a four mo period. I broke my foot at home and was put on leave by my employer (i could’ve still done some work) and then after returning from leave I was fired (which was illegal in my circumstances) and then was out of work for 5 mo, all of which ruined my credit and credit score. It sucks because I had spent a few yrs prior to all that rebuilding my credit from stupid mistakes done in my younger yrs (such as late payments or charge offs). Now I’ve got to explain why I’m still a good pick for the job when they have checked my credit and seen all of the negatives. It doesn’t help that each time a debt is sold and bought the newest owner of the debt reports it to the credit bureaus. So now what is really only five different debts looks like 20 because each one has been bought and sold about 4 times. And there is absolutely nothing I can do about it. I’m an honest person who has had some really bad things happen and now I can’t even get a job to support myself because the prospective employer thinks I’m not trustworthy because of my credit.

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5 Beckie August 26, 2013 at 2:54 pm

I completely agree. I’ve had past medical bills and such that due to circumstances went into collection. Just because someone ends up with bad credit it doesn’t mean they’re a thief or risk to the company. Most companies don’t even bother to find out circumstances surrounding why someone may be in the situation. Just deciding someone may not be trustworthy based on a credit score IS, in my opinion, discrimination. I have worked in customer service for a major utility company and was privy to personal information. Never an issue. It’s almost like companies are saying “you have bad credit so we expect you to be untrustworthy” which is wrong.

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6 Dana August 27, 2013 at 6:08 pm

I think that I would have better chance at getting hired if credit scores are checked, but still do not think it is right to be a reason to not hire someone. A situation a person has no control over can happen to anyone.

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