Jobhop Jobhop's blog : How Does Your Credit Score Affect Your Employability?
Is your credit score holding you back?
There are lots of different factors that affect how attractive a candidate you appear within the job market. Generally, when trying to stand out from the competition, you might look at things like building up your experience or fine-tuning your technical skills through further learning. Something you might not have considered – that could be holding you back from landing your next role – is your credit score. In this post, we explore the relationship between your credit score and your job prospects.
Why do employers care about your score?
Before discussing how a bad credit score could impact your employability, it’s important to first understand why it matters to employers in the first place. Ultimately, it comes down to business owners and recruiters wanting to make a more informed character judgement. Although it’s a lot more nuanced, someone with a bad credit score could appear to be irresponsible, not only with their finances but also when it comes to managing their time – especially if they’ve built up a history of late payments. In addition, it’s an effective way for employers to guard against fraud, and ensure that prospective hires are who they say they are.
Can you be denied a job for bad credit?
As a job seeker, you’ll ultimately want to know whether or not bad credit can affect your chances of securing a job. Unfortunately, bad credit could be grounds for an employer to reject your application, regardless of their industry. This is even more likely to be the case with companies within the financial services. If your credit history suggests that you’re irresponsible with your personal finances, this will be a red flag to recruiters, especially if you’re going to be handling company money or making fiscal decisions in the prospective role.
It’s worth noting that in most industries, it’s not a legal requirement for companies to check your credit score during the hiring process, and lots won’t bring your credit history into consideration. While it may feature as part of a routine background check, a lot of employers won’t place too much emphasis on your score; they’re likely to be more interested in information like any bankruptcies or insolvencies showing on your report.
Keep in mind that businesses are obligated to request your permission before running a credit check. When an employer reviews your history, it’ll be marked as a soft credit check, meaning your score won’t be impacted.
Boosting your job prospects
As we’ve explored, your credit history and score could have an impact on how you’re perceived by prospective employers. Naturally, whether you’re applying for a job or looking to secure a mortgage, you’ll want your score to be in the healthiest shape possible, so you should always commit to improving this aspect of your finances. However, unless you’re applying for a role where you’ll be handling highly sensitive information or company/client finances, your credit score is unlikely to hinder you too much within the job market.
When it comes to finding a new job, your time will likely be better spent optimising your CV, skills, and experience, since these are the things employers will pay the most attention to. However, neglecting your credit score could cause all sorts of difficulties further down the line in different areas of your life. So, if you are concerned about your score, start using your credit card more responsibly and implement good habits to work towards getting your finances in a healthier state.