Why Do Employers Check Credit?

March 6, 2006, Reviewed February 4, 2011

"Why do employers do a credit check when hiring employees? I don’t think it’s fair because I can’t repair my credit until I get a better paying job, and I can’t get a better paying job because of my bad credit."

Employers who check the credit of job applicants believe that applicants who meet their credit obligations are most likely to be conscientious employees who meet their obligations to their employers. In this view, most people are consistent in their behavior across the different aspects of their lives. They are dependable or not dependable, seldom are they dependable about one thing and undependable about another.

Of course this is unfair. Some people have credit problems as a result of circumstances completely beyond their control. But who ever said that life was fair? It is not so unfair, however, as to brand a person forever. You can rebuild your credit, and there are employers who don't check credit, or who will listen to an explanation of why the low credit score in their case is not indicative of poor character. To make your explanation convincing, however, avoid creating an impression that you feel the system is persecuting you.

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