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Could Bad Credit Cost You a Job?


So you aced the job interview. But can you pass the credit check?

That’s right, a growing number of employers are checking job applicants’ credit reports, even when the job doesn’t involve financial responsibilities and management.

About six in 10 employers conduct credit checks on at least some of their job applicants before deciding whether to extend an offer; 13 percent conduct them on all candidates.

The upshot? One in 10 unemployed workers say they’ve been turned down for a job because of negative information in their credit history, according to a recent report by the public policy organization Demos, which surveyed about 1,000 households with credit card debt.

And the situation, it says, may actually be worse. The true number of job candidates who’ve been turned down because of their credit is probably much higher.

As many as one in eight people say they have poor credit because of errors on their report, the Demos report notes. It also says that credit checks are preventing people who need work the most from getting jobs:

“Poor credit is associated with household unemployment, lack of health coverage and medical debt. These factors reflect the poor economy and personal misfortune and have little relationship with how well a job applicant would perform at work.”

People from households in which someone has experienced prolonged unemployment in the last three years were much more likely to describe their credit as poor and less likely to describe it as good or excellent than those who have not had prolonged joblessness, the report says.

Read the full report: Discredited: How Employment Credit Checks Keep Qualified Workers Out Of A Job