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Employers may check credit scores before a hire

Posted On Tue, January 12, 2010

As if worries about one's credit history were not enough of a nuisance as consumers make their way through the recession, having a bad credit score may also hurt one's chances at a job offer.

According to a recent article written by the Minneapolis-St. Paul Star Tribune's Brett Pyrtle, the subject of one's credit score is no longer one that is limited only to discussions regarding one's purchase history.

Referencing polls taken by the Society for Human Resource Management, he wrote that 25 percent of companies conducted a credit score check on potential employees before hiring them in 1998. By 2006, the figure had grown to 43 percent.

"In today's job market, the expectation is that employers can afford to be extremely selective about candidates," Bob Schoenbaum, the principal of KeyStone Search told the Star Tribune. "While credit might not be the most important factor in a hiring decision, bad credit can be a tipping point between one candidate and others competing for the job."

In addition to providing a source of income, job hunts have taken on an increased importance in recent months as a majority of positions include some type of health insurance plan that could alleviate medical costs that many cannot currently afford out-of-pocket.

According to, simple steps can be taken by those with poor credit scores to make them more appealing. While negative credit information usually remains on one's record for up to seven years, adding new information that is more positive will show initiative and progression from a negative past.

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