Got a Good Credit Score? These Jobs Might Be for You

In a handful of states, employers are unable to assess job seekers based on their credit score.

Despite states like California, Illinois and Maryland having these laws on the books, 13 percent of employers surveyed by the Society of Human Resource Management in July performed credit checks on all job applicants.

Why review credit scores at all?

Randy S. Strauss, managing partner of Strauss Group Inc, a recruiting firm says there are several reasons why job applicants are ‘scored’ for their credit worthiness. “The primary reason is to give the hiring authority a ‘measure’ of reliability about the individual.”

Strauss says being responsible or reliable is difficult to assess with a resume. But a low credit score may indicate that the individual is not acting responsible in their personal life.  It can also be an indicator of how that person views responsibility, including how the individual follows rules, respects authority, is organized, etc., says Strauss.

“A very responsible person, however, will usually manage that in such a way as to avoid bad credit, such as paying a little at a time or postponing payment by writing letters to the creditor.  An unreliable person ignores doing what is right, or what is considered a good business decision,” adds Strauss.

You’ve got to grant a perspective employer permission to check your credit. But saying no isn’t always an option. Some experts say refusing is akin to refusing a breathalyzer test. Your resistance will imply you’ve got something to hide.

If you’ve got a good score and are looking to make a job change, these careers and industries might be for you.

Finance

A good credit score is king in the finance industry, especially if money issues are dealt with on a daily basis (like in banking), says Caroline Ceniza, a career coach and recruiter who teaches professional development at Columbia University School of International and Public Affairs and Salary Negotiation at Barnard College. “The thinking is that the credit score is a signal of that person’s financial ability and the employer wants to make sure a potential employee doesn’t have a conflict to doing a good job. Money troubles may cloud their thinking about the company’s money issues.”

But demonstrating you’re adept at handling your own finances tells hiring managers in the banking and finance industry that you’re the person for the job to help keep customer’s finances on the right track, too.

Secret Service/Spy

Many government institutions, such as the CIA and FBI, scrutinize credit information and financial disclosures when granting security clearances says Kevin Gallegos, vice president of Phoenix operations for Freedom Financial Network.

The thinking here is also based on the demonstration of stability. If you’re stressed out worrying about past due notices, you might not be able to keep your cool in the field. A solid credit score also sends the message that you’re responsible and dependable. All things super spies definitely need to be!

Manager

Gallegos says although it varies by company, anyone applying for mid-level management positions and above should expect a prospective employer to want to run a credit check and to expect an applicant has good credit.

Employers want their leaders to be fiscally sound. That’s because if you can’t manage your finances and stick to a personal budget, you might not be able to keep the company from running into the red or spotting where and how to trim the fat should the company get into a financial bind.

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