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Bad credit and your job search
Bad Credit and Your Job Search
How Will It Affect You?

If you have a bad credit history and you are looking for a new job, then you may well be worried about how your financial history could affect your chances of getting a new job in the future. Whilst, in many cases, bad credit won't be an issue in your job search, it can be problematic in certain cases.

When can financial problems (bad credit) affect your job search?

In some cases, there are specific guidelines in place that may have an affect on your being accepted for a particular job and in others it may be up to the discretion of the employer. Bear in mind that not all employers will credit check you as part of the job application process although it is becoming more common, especially with big companies or with jobs where you will be responsible for handling money. Banks and building societies, for example, do have quite stringent checking procedures in place to check out your own financial situation during the job application process.

Let's take a look at some other common issues:

  • Bankruptcy:  If you have been declared bankrupt, then you may have problems in certain professions (i.e. you may not be able to practise law or work as a Chartered Accountant). Bankruptcy can also cause problems in various other types of business including financial services companies, the Police Force, and the Armed Services.

  • CCJs:  Many companies will list CCJs (County Court Judgements) as items that must be disclosed in the criminal history area of their application form. You have to list any CCJs you have, but the reaction of the potential employer will vary from company to company. Some will take a dim view of any CCJ whilst others will have an open mind and will look at each case on its merits.

The actual effects that bad credit can have on your job search will, therefore, depend on the kind of job you are looking for and the attitude of your employer. If an employer lists a credit check as one of the conditions of a job offer and they aren't happy with the bad credit that they see then you could well not get the job; they may simply give it to another candidate with a better financial track record.

It is important if you have bad credit and are in the process of a new job search to try and be as honest as possible about any issues you may have had financially in the past if you think that this will be an issue with a potential new employer. So, for example, there is little point not telling them that you have been declared bankrupt or that you have CCJs against you when you fill in an application form that asks for this information; they'll find out anyway when they check you out.

But, on the other hand, don't assume that you need panic and tell them every little 'blip' that you've had in the past. For example, missing a couple of payments on a credit card a few years ago will probably not constitute a case of really bad credit for many employers and shouldn't have a negative effect on your job search in most cases.

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