Can you get a job with bad credit?

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Bad credit can play a significant role in whether or not you’ll be approved for a home mortgage, credit card, or even a new car. However, did you know that some employers might also analyze your credit score to make a general assumption that you’re a good employee? 

If you’re wondering, “Can you get a job with bad credit?” don’t worry! We’ll cover everything you need to know before applying for your next job.

Are credit checks necessary for jobs?

While not every employer will request a credit check before considering you for employment, it is a requirement for some employers. Credit checks are reflective of how well you manage money and financial situations in your life, so you might find yourself denied employment due to bad credit because employers associate it with a lack of trustworthiness. A decision about what qualifies as bad credit is somewhat subjective, but generally, employers are looking for late payments and similar issues.

Can employers check your credit?

Employers can’t check your credit without written consent, which means you’ll need to approve it before they can run your information. This is typically a soft inquiry, meaning it won’t appear as a hard inquiry that affects your credit score. 

However, a soft inquiry still checks your credit report as it currently stands with the three major credit agencies, which are TransUnion, Experian, and Equifax. So, while employers won’t be able to see your credit score, they will be able to see other information, like if you’re in debt or you’ve defaulted on your loans.

Background checks and employee rights

You have rights when it comes to your credit report and who can view this information. It’s important to note that when employers run background checks as part of the job application process, they may pull your credit report.

However, they need to follow the rules set forth in the Fair Credit Reporting Act, which means they have to ask your permission to check your credit report as a condition of employment.

What shows up on an employer-pulled credit check?

If a potential employer is asking for access to your credit score, you might be wondering exactly what they’re able to see. They will receive the same information that most lenders will also see, including the following details: 

  • Open lines of credit
  • Outstanding balances
  • Student or auto loans
  • Foreclosures
  • Missed or late payments
  • Collection accounts
  • Bankruptcies

Odds of getting a job with bad credit

But your personal outcome regarding a job application will depend on the type of job you’re applying for and the amount of financial responsibility associated with it. 

If you’re worried about how your credit history will impact your ability to get a job, you’ll want to consider ways to boost your credit, such as applying for a Credit Builder Plus membership with MoneyLion, which can help you build your credit today.

Ways to improve your chances of getting a job with bad credit

If you apply for a job asking for a credit score, and you know your score is not stellar, you’ll want to consider taking the necessary steps to improve your chances of getting a job with bad credit.

Monitor your credit report regularly 

You can and should review your credit report on a regular basis. By accessing your credit report, you can ensure that there are no errors on your report and also look for any signs of identity theft or fraud alerts that have been placed on your credit.

So, instead of worrying about how to get a job with bad credit, sign up for a MoneyLion Credit Builder Plus membership to stay on top of your credit, and access credit-building tools with ease. All MoneyLion members can monitor their credit with monthly updates, and Credit Builder Plus members get a weekly report.

Pay down debts

An easy way to boost your credit, no matter your current score, is to track and pay down your debts. The more you can pay off in a given month, the lower your credit utilization ratio will be, which will help boost your score over time.

Use a Credit Builder Plus loan to improve your credit score

Applying for a MoneyLion Credit Builder loan can be a great way to boost your credit score, over half of Credit Builder Plus members have increased their credit score by up to 27 points within the first 60 days.1 You’ll be able to take control of your credit, access a portion of your loan right away, and utilize a lot of tools that will help you further improve your credit score. 

Ready to start rebuilding credit? 

Can you get a job with bad credit? It’s possible! However, if you can’t get a job with bad credit, that doesn’t have to signify the end of your career. 

Credit Builder Plus loans from MoneyLion offer the opportunity to boost your credit score and move forward toward a better financial future while saving up money that can be used to pay down your debt.


What does an employer credit check show?

When an employer checks your credit, they can see information regarding whether or not you are in debt or if you have defaulted on your loans. They can also see how many credit cards you have if you have any active car loans and information regarding mortgages that you’re currently paying back.

What states prohibit credit checks for employment?

California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Hawaii, Illinois, Maryland, Nevada, Oregon, Vermont, and Washington State won’t allow employers to deny you a job solely based on a credit check, whereas cities such as Chicago and New York City prohibit credit checks entirely. 

Can debt keep you from getting a job?

Yes, because debt can lower your credit score. You may be denied employment due to bad credit, especially when significant debt issues pop up.

Does bad credit affect getting a job?

Depending on the job you’re applying for, it may be hard to get a job if you have bad credit and employment background checks that aren’t favorable.

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