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Can Debt on Credit Keep You From Getting a Job?

When you apply for a job, you may be required to undergo a credit check. Negative information found in the check may impact whether you get the job or not. Positions that require you to handle money are especially sensitive to scrutinizing your credit history. You may not agree to have a background or credit check, however, this will most probably eliminate you as a job candidate.

Debt Does Matter

The amount of debt you owe, the number of unpaid accounts and the number of late pays may stop you from getting a job, according the ABC News website. Hiring organizations have different levels or criteria for determining what is acceptable in terms of a negative credit history. For example, if you are applying for a job as a bank teller, your credit history is more pertinent than if you are applying as a mechanic.

Employer Reasoning

Financial jobs may be sensitive to your debt-to-credit ratio, while other industries may also be concerned about your credit history. For example, if the position offers the opportunity to steal, the company may be concerned about your financial history. If you work for a drug store, your debt may prompt you to make bad decisions. Employers may consider that you are a higher risk to steal drugs to pay off debt or even that by owing debt, your character is questionable.

Debt and Character

The practice of performing credit checks for employment does cause concern. A person's personal credit does not have an impact on the person's ability to perform a job. For example, if a nurse is denied a job due to her debt on credit cards, loans or a mortgage, it does not detract from her ability to help patients. Perhaps the applicant recently went through a divorce that caused a financial hardship or the applicant had a business that closed due to the economy. Situations that occur in life present personal challenges, however, being denied a job due to the debt can devastate a person's life. Without the ability to obtain a good job, the debt for various credit situations will worsen.

Restrictions on Credit Checks

Most employers can require you to allow them to perform a credit check to learn about your debt. However, the federal Fair Credit Reporting Act does restrict some information from the employer. If the employer hires a third-party to perform the check, bankruptcies over 10 years old cannot be disclosed and tax liens or civil suits that are older than 7 years cannot be disclosed. Positions that earn $75,000 a year or more do not have even these minimal restrictions. However, some states such as California have additional restrictions on the release of information.



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