Job Offer Rescinded After Credit Check: What You Need to Know and What You Can Do
Editorial Team | On July 12, 2023
Understanding Credit Checks in Employment
Before we dive into the specifics of the scenario where a job offer is rescinded after a credit check, let’s take a moment to understand the role of credit checks in the employment process. Credit checks are a common step in background investigations for many employers, particularly for roles that involve financial transactions or access to sensitive financial information. Employers often use credit checks as a tool to assess a potential employee’s financial responsibility and personal integrity.
A vast majority of companies, approximately 95%, perform some form of background check on potential hires. There’s a significant focus on financial responsibility as well, with 16% of companies conducting credit or financial checks on all job applicants. Additionally, almost one-third of these firms extend credit checks to certain candidates based on their discretion.
Credit Check: A Pivotal Moment In The Hiring Process
The modern hiring process is not as straightforward as it once was. No longer are employers solely interested in your qualifications and work experience. Today, your financial background, particularly your credit history, can play a crucial role in determining whether you secure a job or not. Consequently, having a job offer rescinded after a credit check is an experience more job seekers are encountering.
Unveiling the Truth: Why Do Employers Conduct Credit Checks?
Before delving into why a job offer may be rescinded after a credit check, it’s important to understand why employers conduct these checks in the first place. In some industries, particularly finance, an employee’s credit history can provide insight into their ability to handle money responsibly. For roles involving sensitive information or access to company finances, employers might be hesitant to hire someone with a poor credit history.
Job Offer Rescinded: Impact of Credit Check Results
If an employer conducts a credit check and finds a number of red flags, such as high levels of debt, bankruptcy, or a history of late payments, they may reconsider their decision to offer you the job. Although it may seem unfair, it’s legal in many states for employers to take this action. This is why you might face a situation where your job offer is rescinded after a credit check.
Your Rights: The Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA)
While it’s legal for employers to conduct credit checks, there are still laws in place to protect your rights as a potential employee. The Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) requires employers to obtain your written consent before running a credit check. Furthermore, if the information uncovered during the check leads to negative employment action (like rescinding a job offer), the employer must provide you with a copy of the report and a notice of your rights under the FCRA.
Navigating Through: Can You Fix a Job Offer Rescinded After Credit Check?
While having a job offer rescinded after a credit check can be disheartening, it’s not the end of the road. There are ways to navigate through this difficult situation. For instance, if you know you have poor credit, be proactive in discussing it with the employer before the check. Demonstrating responsibility for your financial situation can help mitigate their concerns.
Rebuilding Your Credit: Long Term Solutions
Addressing your credit issues is a long-term solution that can prevent job offer rescissions in the future. Start by requesting a free copy of your credit report from each of the three major credit bureaus (Experian, TransUnion, and Equifax). This will help you understand what potential employers might see. From there, you can work on improving your credit by reducing debt, making payments on time, and regularly monitoring your credit score.
Engaging Legal Aid: When You Suspect Unfair Practices
There are instances where a job offer is rescicinded after a credit check due to discriminatory or unfair practices. If you suspect that you’ve been a victim of this, you might want to consider legal aid. Employment attorneys can help you understand whether your rights under the FCRA or other employment laws have been violated, and if so, what steps you can take.
In Conclusion: Prepare and Act Proactively
Navigating the modern job market requires more than just a stellar resume and outstanding interview skills. It’s increasingly crucial to be financially literate and aware of your credit standing. By understanding why and how employers conduct credit checks, knowing your rights, addressing potential credit issues proactively, and being ready to engage legal help if necessary, you can turn a job offer rescinded after a credit check from a setback into a stepping stone for personal and professional growth.
You are not alone.
A woman wrote to Woman For Hire to report that she was denied a promising job at the last minute after a credit check revealed some late payments – making her ineligible for hire. Read her story here.