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Don't Let Credit Keep You From Landing Your Dream Job

In a recent article published by the NY Times, a new trend has emerged among employers. A job seeker should add credit check to their list of things to do along with their resume revamps. Companies are now screening applicants´┐Ż backgrounds more often and more thoroughly than ever. Here is what employers are looking for:

  • On-time payment histories
  • Late payment trends in excess of 120 days
  • Bankruptcy
  • Lawsuits
  • Government Liens
  • Identity Confirmation
Thanks to scandals like Enron, many companies have added credit reports to improve their background checks and raise their hiring standards. Employers or screening firms can purchase credit reports for $8-$12. And due to tight restrictions and lawsuits regarding references, credit checks are becoming the preferred candidate quality barometer.
Background checks may include:
  • State Wide Criminal History Reports
  • County of Residence Criminal History Check
  • Worker´'s Compensation Claim History Report
  • Driving Records/Motor Vehicle Report (MVR)
  • Social Security Number Trace and Validation
  • Employee Credit Report (PEER REPORT)
  • Federal Record Checks
  • Drug Screening
  • Applicant Assessment Testing

Employers evaluate the reports in different ways. Some look for a good payment history as a sign of responsibility. Others look for red flags that may cause someone to do things that are uncharacteristic to due pressure caused by large unpaid debt. For example, a bankruptcy may not cause as much alarm as a candidate who is 120 days past due on several bills.

What is good credit? According┬ Mortgage Links, a NY based mortgage firm, and Prudential Appleseed Realty, FICO scores above 680 are considered fair or good credit even during our current credit crunch. Under most government backed loan guideline, 680 is the base score for approval. New homeowners are classified in three main categories, A (680+), B (550 to 630), C (below 550). To check your credit visit: be sure to check with your state for a free credit report.

Under the 1996 Fair Credit Reporting Act (, companies can review credit reports of applicants and employees only with their permission. Typically, job applications include a yes-or-no check-off box. Saying no to a credit review raises the same red flags that bad credit does.

It is imperative to check and maintain good credit now, in some cases, your job depends on it.

If you have any information relating to this topic please contact us at We want to hear from you.


- Staff Writer


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