June 27, 2013, 1:04 PM — When a prospective employer asks to run a credit check, that’s good news for job hunters, as it means they’re being given serious consideration.
But it can also be bad news if a candidate has poor credit. Nearly half of employers run credit checks on job candidates these days and one in seven has been denied work based on the results.
Here are three steps you can take if you’re a facing a credit check and have less-than-stellar numbers:
1. Be upfront with your employer. If they request a credit check (something you need to literally sign off on), give a general explanation of how you fell behind, but emphasize how you’re making headway in improving your rating.
2. Improve your rating by making on-time payments every month. Even paying just the minimum monthly will help. This will show you’re actively working to improve your credit, something you can point out to prospective employers.
3. Examine your credit report. Everyone is entitled to three free credit reports each year. Yes, it’s boring and tedious, but examining them will save yourself a lot of grief in the long run if you spot an error and proactively correct it. Head to AnnualCreditReport.com for more information and how-tos.