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How Your Credit Score May Affect Employment Prospects

Your credit score tells potential creditors how risky of a borrower you are by gauging how responsible you've been with handing credit and managing debt. It makes good sense that lenders would want a good idea of how likely it would be for a borrower to default on a loan.

There's someone else who might be checking up on your credit history — your employer! Discover more about how you, your credit score, and employers may be connected when you


Your employment history is not part of your credit score, but your credit score could be factored into your chances of getting a job. A good credit score will give you access to the best interest rates and it could also give you an edge if a potential employer runs a credit check for applicants. Just as lenders may see you as a risky borrower if you have a poor credit score, employers may also view you ask a risky employee.

If you're interviewing for a position that involves finances, confidentiality, and handling money then it's likely that your employer will run a credit check before they make you a job offer. Some companies check applicants' credit regardless of the specific position under consideration.

K.E. Varner, author of The Insider's Guide to Credit Repair sums up the concept like this: "Overall, it's a reflection of a person's character. That's the assumption these companies make. Given everybody is equal in their backgrounds and skill set, if one person has a better credit score, you're probably going to be better off with that person."


Join The Conversation
logdog logdog 5 years
If I were borrowing money from my employer, then yes they have a right to check my credit history, but not if I am seeking a job. It appears as though they are now able to determine the ethics of a person by merely looking at their credit report. If this is the case they should also investigate a person's religion and sexual preference. Do they even believe in God? (43% of all Atheists & Agnostics don't really care about anything). We should also find out how many times a potential employee or Independent contractor has been divorced, re-married and if they cheated on their spouses. (57% of all people who have cheated on a spouse(s) are likely to lie & cheat on their employers). How many parking tickets has a person had in the past? (51% of all parking ticket offenders do not respect authority). Is this person a Republican or Democrat? (47% of all Democrats are more liberal than Republicans and may show out of control spending tendencies, in an effort to pay down the bills of their Republican predecessors). At one time the Insurance Companies were trying to pass a bill that would enable them to raise your insurance premiums, based on your credit report. This was determined to be unlawful, but no one from the Insurance companies have ever been. Last but not least, 67% of all emplyers have credit reports that are lower than 85% of their employees. Could this be one of the inequities the "Occupy Wall Street" groups are upset about, or could this just be another Civil Rights violation? Source - Polls are Us
dallasguy dallasguy 8 years
It is unusual and sometimes frustrating that employers check your credit. It’s terrible that many highly qualified people cannot get a position or a promotion because of things that happened in the past that they might not have necessarily have control of. Not everyone with bad credit is a “dead beat”. Sometimes, like I’m sure a lot of you know, bad things happen to good people. People get sick and get medical collections and put them out of work leading to other late pays and possible collections, go through divorces that put them in bad financial situations, etc. And then, your punishment is 7 years (unless a collection is sold which starts the whole 7 yrs over again) of bad credit but even worse the money you waste in high interest. This is the killer. Some people pay $200-$300 more a month on their car payments than someone with the same car, financed for the same term, but with great credit. This is actually what I specialize in professionally. Over the past 11 yrs I’ve come to find that a lot of items are removable after several round of dispute audits. I wish you all good luck and I’m here for any advice you may need.
politica politica 9 years
I refused to allow my current employer to check it, mostly 'cause there's no reason for it. I'm 23 and my credit is ABYSMAL, but I need to work to earn the money to improve it.
MartiniLush MartiniLush 9 years
Well, I don't know if my current employer did this, but when I worked for the Feds they definately checked scores. Their reasoning is that if you have bad credit and are heavily in debt, you will be more open to being bribed to hand out classified info.
faerymagick15 faerymagick15 9 years
do they think that people with less than perfect credit are more likely to steal or something if they work in the financial industry? I think credit score has NOTHING to do with whether you make a decent employee. Maybe you had a spouse who screwed your credit (as I did years ago). My credit is better now, but still not where I would like it to be. I am working on it. My current husband had the same thing happen to him so it is a double whammy with us. Luckily neither of us work in finance or retail (which some do check). But, my husband did work for Motorola a few years back and they even did a credit check. Thankfully it was fine.
carhornsinapril carhornsinapril 9 years
frankly, i think it's an invasion of privacy. i have a decent credit score, but i don't want anyone except lenders looking at it!
MA-cw MA-cw 9 years
I can understand it if you're handling money or finances, but other than that it seems kind of irrelevant. I guess it could potentially tell you about a person's "character," but I think the interview process should probably do a good job of determining character more than the credit score would. I think at times it's warranted, like I said, but other than that I think there are better ways to judge candidates. Hopefully I never have to worry about this!
Frenched Frenched 9 years
I can see why they would do it...if they definitely want the "best" candidates. It's unfair to us who are struggling but I guess they gotta do what they gotta do to feel like they've made the best choice on a candidate. Fortunately for me, I don't think my employers have relied on that! :)
ilanac13 ilanac13 9 years
fortunately i don't think that i work in an industry that would mind much about what my credit score was. granted mine is fine (i check it every month) but sometimes i think that there's too much information out there for people to be questioning .
graduatedsqueaks graduatedsqueaks 9 years
it does seem like they should at least give people a chance to defend themselves if they have lower credit... which reminds me, I should check my credit report soon...
jessy777 jessy777 9 years
I understand for positions that relate directly to money or finance but I do not understand the use in other positions. It can be hard for people to get ahead who have credit trouble thereby decreasing their chances of getting out of this debt.
phatE phatE 9 years
"bluepuppybites" do you mind me asking what range your score is in? i agree that judging a person based on their credit score is off, but i also see how it raises a red flag if they have a really low score and want to work in a financial type job. i think they should bring it up with the person interviewing, before saying no. there are many reasons people have bad credit, and alot of typical, average, smart, successful, people (especially in their 20's and 30's) have just gotten themselves into a hole and are working on it. i have a little debt, but thankfully my credit is still good.. i watch it like a hawk for these reasons. I guess my suggestion is, if you're interviewing and already know that your credit isn't great and could become an issue, bring it up. I think it's better to explain you were younger, had no idea, had student loans, unexpected emergencies, etc than nothing at all.. also.. you can set request notification if someone asks to view your credit.. that way, if you are in this position, the potential employee won't just beable to view it without you getting a heads up. that may be a stupid suggestion, but i guess i am saying i would rather know what's going on, and have the opportunity to explain and sell why i would be great, instead of not knowing anything.
bluepuppybites bluepuppybites 9 years
I have been turned down for at least 3 jobs because of this. I want a better job so I can pay off the dang debts and improve my credit score. To judge a person on their credit score is absolutely ridiculous.
Tres-Chic-NY Tres-Chic-NY 9 years
i never got the reason for employeers to check your credit score
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