Why Employers can legally “Discriminate” Bad Credit Applicants

When something doesn’t go our way, many individuals have been indoctrinated with the notion that everything is discrimination, sexist, or racist when it comes to workplace hiring and firing situations. This often results in a debilitating legal battle, where the business will lose out on resources (time and money) and credibility.

The question has been addressed and continues to come under heavy scrutiny. Should employers legally be allowed to filter applicants based on their credit history? Whether it’s ethical or not is another issue, but there are reasons why it’s not illegal. Not only is it based on decisions you have made financially, which were typically under your control, but you were not born into debt and assigned a credit score. You earned it. Unlike other traits such as height, skin color, age, sex, it’s (supposedly) completely within your control. Some states have restrictions and require the employer to explicitly ask for permission to run a credit history, but we all know if an applicant refuses it basically terminates any chance he or she had of acquiring the job position.

It’s a slight gray area but in 99% of cases you will be filtered based on your credit history. This means you need to get proactive.

Well, How Do I get a job with a Poor Credit History?

Employers are going to check your credit history. You can count on that. As your pay grade and responsibilities increase for a job role, so too will the chances exponentially rise that they will be singing a song about your credit number. Bank workers and others managing large sums of money will probably even be further investigated beyond a credit score, rightfully or not.

Confess during the Interview process:

The economy has taken a huge hit in recent years. Nearly everyone got hit by the mortgage crisis, rising prices, and lost savings due to inflation. Sadly, bad credit is becoming the new norm, which represents a unique challenge to not only businesses but those trying to prove themselves.

You don’t have to lead with all your baggage, but if you can genuinely do the job, and you really want it, your enthusiasm and experience will shine through, not your credit score. Simply explain what happened and why you are actually a stronger person and candidate for the position today.

Spin it into a Positive:

An even stronger approach would be recommending they run your credit to see yes, you’ve made some serious mistakes in the past, but it’s improving and trending upward. (If your credit is still trending downwards this approach will not work, but if that’s the case you need to correct that asap, and freelance work might be the solution to cover your bills).

In the interim you can help rebuild your credit while on the job search by paying off very small temporary loans. Just by paying off very small sums of money on time, over a period of a few months can dramatically increase your score and show you are serious about getting you financial health back on track.

Matt Anton writes for Payment Savvy – a merchant account for businesses

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