Bad Credit = No Job?

It's becoming harder to find a job if you have bad credit.  Some employers, faced with an overload of job applicants,  are using credit reports to choose who to hire.  A 2012 survey found that 47% of employers considered credit reports in hiring decisions.  

This can lead to a vicious cycle.  You lose your job, so you fall behind on the mortgage payment or rack up pricey medical bills.  That affects your credit, and now employers are reluctant to hire you.    

You do have  rights you should know about.  An employer can't pull your credit without your consent.  If an employer denies you a job because of your credit, they have to tell you so and give you access to your credit report for free.  If there are mistakes on your credit report, you should contact the credit bureaus to get them fixed.   As a matter of fact, it is a good idea to check your credit report every year, even if you aren't applying for a job.  The federal government allows you to do this for free at www.annualcreditreport.com.  

You may also want to consider explaining your circumstances to an employer.  If  you still don't get the job, it might be time to think about cleaning up your credit report, and exploring whether bankruptcy is a good option for you.