APU Careers Careers & Learning

Is a Bad Credit Rating Hindering Your Career?

By Rowe Leathersbudgeting
Contributor, Career Services

Having a poor credit rating can do more than just keep you from getting a job. Simply knowing that your credit rating is limiting your employment options can reduce your self-confidence, and in turn, can negatively impact your attitude, outlook and overall demeanor. Unfortunately, your demeanor can send a message of doubt and desperation that potential employers can sense, and quite frankly, avoid.

When hit with a financial crisis, the natural reaction is to go into survival mode, where nothing outside of the basic necessities seem to matter. The natural course of action is to ration monies to cover basics necessities and hope for the best. Quite often, this means foregoing payments to creditors, which unfortunately, will plague you long term.

It is only once we are out of survival mode, and into the rebuilding stage, that the realization of the damage becomes a reality. Poor credit rating can keep candidates from jobs that require a security clearance, finance sector, and many upper management positions. However, rather than fret, take control of your situation and put forth a plan!

When you are ready to rebuild, the first step is to take an assessment of your financial situation. A good place to begin is in a thorough review of your credit report to determine its accuracy. Take steps to clean up your credit by working with credit reporting agencies to correct any inaccuracies you identify. Once you have clarity, put to work a plan to address negative information. Additionally, seek out consumer rights websites and credit reporting agencies as resources. If you have patience and determination, you can often do the work yourself. If you decide to seek assistance, be sure to familiarize yourself with the Credit Repair Organization Act (CROA) to ensure that the professionals you hire will serve your needs while protecting your rights.

While rebuilding your credit rating may seem daunting at first, it is a necessary step to take if you are planning to move forward and take control of your career. The process may not yield instant success but with determination and commitment, you will begin to repair not just your credit but your self-esteem in the process.

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