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What to do when bad credit is keeping you from a job offer

The use of consumer credit as a determinant has just about permeated all aspects of our daily lives, even job offers.

todays-job-searchQuestion: After three years (late 2008) I have a conditional job offer, but the position is on hold to give me some time to address my credit since I've been out of work. Is there a credit counseling or repair service that can work with me and the creditors to legally correct some problems over the last three years in an effort to get back into the workforce?

Answer: Congratulations on the conditional job offer! I believe employers using credit history as a determinant in employment is really unfair. Unless the job involves handling of finances or money, a potential employee’s work ethic should be kept separate from credit history. A less than perfect credit history does not dictate an employee’s commitment to hard work.

I wrote about this in an article entitled “How a Bad Credit Score Can Affect Employment Opportunities.” Hopefully more states, besides Hawaii, Washington, Oregon and Illinois will enact actual legislation limiting employers’ use of credit information in hiring decisions.

I do not have a credit counselor to make a referral. But the Federal Trade Commission offers some good information on how to choose a credit counselor in an article called “Facts for Consumers.” I strongly urge you read the article and follow the advice in choosing the right credit counselor for your state.

When a consumer is interested in credit repair, I usually refer them to a law firm, Lexington Law, which I know has worked well for many consumers and they have over 20 years experience in credit repair. But even though Lexington Law offers flexible payment plans, they may take more time than you have.

For a quick solution contact a credit counselor. They may be able to provide a Debt Management Plan. You can read more about how the Debt Management Plan works. But essentially, it provides an easy to follow plan to pay down debt.

If you are able to get set up on a Debt Management Plan perhaps that will satisfy the potential employer’s credit standards for hiring. The best of luck to you.

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