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Past Bankruptcy Can Haunt Your Job Hunt

Past Bankruptcy Can Haunt Your Job Hunt

Dona DeZube | Monster Finance Careers Expert

Knowing vs. Using

The fact that a potential employer pulls credit and that yours is poor doesn’t mean you won’t get the job. “A lot of companies do a credit check when they’re doing background checks, but it’s there as a complement,” says Jason B. Morris, president of employeescreenIQ, a global background screening company. “You might use it as the straw that broke the camel’s back, but never as the primary reason for a decision.”

Knowing They Used It

If you do suspect a company is using your bankruptcy as the reason not to hire you, call and ask if your credit was a problem and which area of your credit was the issue, so you’ll know what to disclose next time.

If the answer is bankruptcy, you can file a complaint with the EEOC and call the US Federal Trade Commission’s Consumer Response Center at 1-877-382-4357. You can also contact the local consumer protection agency or your state attorney general.

Regardless of what you do, don’t expect much action. “There are lawyers who will take on these cases, but most won’t take it on contingency,” Shaw says. If you’re a low-income earner, you can seek help from legal aid.

At the very least, make one more attempt to change the interviewer’s mind. After all, if you made it through to the credit screen, there must be something about you that appealed to the interviewer, Shaw concludes.

Read Up

Want to learn more about credit checks? The FTC has a fact sheet about employers’ use of credit checks. The nonprofit Privacy Rights Clearinghouse offers three fact sheets (16, 16a and 16b) about credit checks and employment.

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