COULD YOUR CREDIT SCORE PREVENT YOU FROM GETTING A JOB? IN SHORT, YES.
Mar 10, 2021
Whether we think it’s fair or not, your personal finances can have a big impact on how you
are judged by people who don’t know you. In America, it is routine for potential employers to
look at your credit information before offering you a job. They use it as an indicator to see if
you are trustworthy - however, as credit scores become more important in the UK, you can
expect to see this happening more often.
If you apply for a job in a bank or a law firm, it is often a prerequisite for them to perform a
credit check on potential new employees (with your consent), but where some employers will
use a credit check as a mechanism for checking someone's identity, address and other
personal attributes others may use it as an assessment of the general good standing of the
If you’re about to work for a company that deals with money they will want you to prove
you’re not irresponsible with your own cash before you can work with theirs. If your new role
means you will be trusted with an expenses card or managing money on behalf of the
business, they want to check you aren’t going to wreak havoc on their finance department. If
you can’t manage your own spending, what’s to say you will be different with a corporate
credit card or expenses account? Or, if you have big debts, would you be easily targeted by
a criminal offering to clear your debts in exchange for access to company secrets or
passwords? They want to make sure your financial performance won’t impact your work. It
could be that they want to check you aren’t a big risk when it comes to money management
or that your track record shows that you are a trusted, responsible individual.
A Clearswift report in 2018 found that 42% of security breaches came from inside
organisations. The introduction of GDPR saw the maximum fine for infringements increase
to €20m or 4% of annual global turnover (whichever is greater) – a serious motivator when it
comes to minimising the risk of a breach.
If a company thinks your financial situation could have a negative impact on your ability to
perform well in your new role it may put the recruiter off signing the contract. Remember
your credit report shows if you’ve been made bankrupt any time in the past six years or if
you have had any County Court Judgments against you, which in turn could affect your
reputation to future employers. It will also flag to employers if someone is under severe
financial pressure as they might be more susceptible to outside influence, bribery or even
According to a survey of job hunters in America by a company called Demos, 1 in 10 people
who were unemployed said it was because their credit report was the reason they couldn’t
get a job. So, you could be perfectly, if not overqualified for a role, but your credit report
could be the final hurdle that trips you up.
Another reason a business may check your credit report before employing you is to sniff out
potential fraudsters. Your credit file is a robust way for employers to check you are who you
say you are. On the other hand, a solid credit history is an indicator of trustworthiness,
self-discipline, and smart decision-making.
A report by the National Association of Professional Background Screeners found that 25%
of HR professionals use credit or financial checks in the UK while hiring for some positions,
while 6% check the credit of all applicants. It’s important to say that just because someone
has a financial problem doesn’t mean they’re a bad person. But whether we like it or not, if
you’re on the hunt for a new job, the information in your credit report may be a factor that
can either help or hinder your chances of getting that dream job.
Get in touch
Katy Ringsdore - Head of Media Relations