I assist large corporations in hiring honest and forthright computer
professionals to work in trusted positions. Hiring people who
don't respect their obligations is a major hiring FUBAR since job
candidates who dishonor a credit contract are just as likely to
dishonor an employment contract.
As an employer, I don't want to risk hiring people who don't honor their
commitments, and we always conduct a pre-employment credit check
seeking evidence of moral turpitude.
Many young people don't know it. but a bad credit report reveals
even more about you than a criminal background check. And it's
amazing what I can
find out about you from a Google search.
Evidence of illegal activity is recorded forever
It's a free
country, and when the stakes are high, smart employers carefully screen job applicants for
honesty. And it's not just cash register honesty. Some
employers find it offensive if a job applicant has fathered a
bastard child out of wedlock, and in America employers have the
freedom to reject people for no reason at all!
Some employers can also reject people
In this tight
market, employers are more choosey than ever before.
Dishonest, is dishonest, and whether it's having lots of parking
tickets (disrespect for the law) or outright fraud, like listing
degrees on your resume that you have not yet earned (I saw two
resumes like this last week!), a savvy employer will avoid job
candidates who do not honor their contractual obligations.
- Late Payers: People who pay their bills late have no respect
for their contractual obligations.
- Walk aways: People
who walk away from mortgages are always of poor character, sticking an
innocent bank with their own poor investment decisions.
- Defaulters: Many immoral people
believe that it's justified to default on their hospital
bills, just because they have a catastrophic illness.
People can try to justify it all they
want, but not everybody dishonors their
commitments when it's convenient to do
so. And even though your credit
may be washed clean after seven years,
your dirty deeds remain on record
dishonest people who are abandoning their
mortgages that caused the current
recession, and employers have a right
(some say an obligation) to reject
people of bad character
and make them pay for their poor morals.
You tell me, who would you hire?
Joe & Mary: Pay their
debts on-time and wouldn't feel comfortable stiffing their
Skank & Lucinda:
The believe that only fools pay a
mortgage on a house that has lost
A slow payment history indicates irresponsibility
This article notes that companies are routinely doing background
credit checks of all job applicants, and they have little sympathy
for people who don't honor their credit payment terms. A
history of slow credit payments can indicate irresponsibility and a
disregard for personal commitments:
"Richard Becraft was offered a good
civil service job with the Department of Defense in May 2002. .
After a background check, however, the job offer was rescinded.
The government letter that the Oxnard, Calif., man received
indicated “financial considerations” made him a poor security
I work for many companies in a
job applicant screening service where we help them hire
responsible professionals and I'm amazed at the amount of
background checks that are done before hiring professionals.
The rare exception to bad credit
While almost everyone with bad credit dishonors their
obligations, there are rare exceptions. While many companies
automatically toss-away job applicants with bad credit numbers, I
believe that each case of bad credit is to be evaluated individually
I remember one case where a professional was asked to fly
overseas for an extended engagement of $30,000 using his AMEX credit
card. His credit card payment was due month's before his
company paid, and his bad credit was through on fault of his own,
other then choosing a bad employer.
and bad credit
I recently rejected a job applicant whose bad credit reflected a
bankruptcy. When pressed, he told me that he got very sick,
and rather than pay his rightful medical bills, he decided to file
bankruptcy to stiff his creditors. He saw NOTHING wrong with
walking-away from his debt, and to this day he does not know why I
refuse to hire him. Not everybody walks away and stiffs their
- My nephew was born with a
pre-existing condition (I kid you not, preexisting conditions at
birth) and his parents moved into a
trailer for almost a decade, diligently paying-off his medical
bills. These are good honest people who chose the honorable
way out of debt.
interviewed a fellow yesterday who was just getting off of
disability and he told me that, rather than file bankruptcy, he is
paying $150 a month for the rest of his life (and his kids lives, he
says) to the hospital. He starts work next Monday . . .
Mortgage walk away and bad credit
I interviewed a fellow last week who walked away from a mortgage
even though he could afford the payments. Why? Because
he purchased the home for $800,000 and it was not only worth
In his warped mind he justified his act, and he
tried very hard to convince me that he was not a scumbag for
sticking the back with his bad investment. All he convinced me
of was that he does not honor his obligations, and I would not touch
him with a ten foot pole. He does not know it yet, but that
will stay on his credit report for the rest of his life, and
employers like me will know about his bad character.
Not everybody walks away because they made a bad investment.
My friend Lou from Rochester paid for years on a Mortgage in Boston,
even after he moved to New York. He honored his obligation,
and did the right thing.
Today's kids might call Lou "stupid" for throwing good money
after bad, but Lou has a job . . .
To learn more,
see my notes on
Pre-employment background checks.