How to Tell a Future Employer About Your Bad Credit

How to Tell a Future Employer About Your Bad Credit
Mike Randall
By: Mike Randall
Posted: July 19, 2013's popular "How-To" series is for those who seek to improve, rebuild or better understand their subprime credit rating.

So you’ve been through the interview and are feeling pretty good about it.

You know you’re qualified for the job and the hiring manager seemed to really like you. But then you get the bad news: “We’re sorry to inform you….”

So what went wrong? You go back and look over your resume and maybe make a few changes. You double check your suit and tie. You even practice your interviewing skills – again.

But perhaps the problem is something else entirely.

With the job market these days as tight as it is, employers can afford to be picky when hiring. One of the things they’re getting picky about is a job candidate’s credit rating.

Recent surveys have shown nearly 50 percent of companies review a potential employee’s credit history when considering them for a job.

So maybe you should be taking a closer look at your credit score and what that tells a potential employer about you.

If you do happen to have bad credit, it’s not the end of the world. Many employers say they welcome a candidate’s explanation of their credit history and take it into consideration when hiring.

If you have a good explanation for your bad credit, be honest in sharing it with them.

Here are a few tips on just how to approach this tricky situation:

1. Most companies use credit checks as a part of the routine hiring process.

If they’ve gotten this far, they likely want to hire you. So the best thing you can do is tell them upfront what they will probably find. Be proactive and honest.

2. Be prepared to discuss your credit history in detail.

Bring a copy of your credit report with you and go over it with the hiring manager. Explain any serious transgressions openly and with a view toward the changes you have made in your financial life.

3. Talk about your plan to improve your credit rating.

Showing you take this matter seriously will count in your favor. This may even be a way to negotiate the salary or pay rate you need.

4. Ask for their help in getting your financial footing established again.

Tell them this job will help you to meet your obligations and you will be a more loyal employee. The idea here is they are helping you and you will do your absolute best for the company.

5. Making your payments.

If you haven’t been diligent about making your payments, start now. By showing your current payment history is solid, an employer will likely give you the benefit of the doubt when it comes to getting things back on track.

The important point is to bring your outstanding debts current.

Remember, if you’ve made it to the point in the interview process where a credit background check is imminent, the employer is likely interested in hiring you.

All they really need is for you to reassure them you are a good risk. They want to believe you and they will overlook a lot, provided you are honest and upfront with them.

Do your best to emphasize your positive attributes and tell them you are well on your way toward fixing your bad credit.

The next communication you get from them will likely begin with, “Congratulations….”

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