Your Job: Lost and Found and Lost – Again?

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, more than half a million jobs were "lost" in December.  I really feel for those people because, for me at least, losing something and finding something to replace it was never at an even par.  I'm one of those people who, if I lose something, it stays lost.  I'm sure other people are luckier than I.   They have to be.

If you're one of those people who lost a job in December, or any time last year, you've no doubt been actively looking for another.  But finding a new job can be tricky in this economy; there are fewer jobs available, and a lot more people - often over qualified people - anxious to fill them.  If you've found a job to replace the one you've lost, you'd better thank your guardian angel.

But what scares me only slightly less than losing a job in the first place, is finding one that looks promising, only to have my hopes dashed by the dreaded "credit check."  More and more employers are using credit checks as part of their hiring criteria - not just banks and insurance companies, as in the past.  I admit it, my FICO score is not all it could be.  Then again, whose is, these days, right?  Heh heh.  But I used to think that my credit report was between me and my creditors.  No more.  Employers justify the requirement of a credit check with the claim that your credit worthiness speaks to your integrity.  I beg to differ.  Affluence, or lack thereof, does not imply trustworthiness or otherwise.

Still, employers are within their rights to request a credit check.  But, you, as a potential employee, also have rights.  You have the right to be notified if your potential employment is contingent upon your credit score.  You also have the right to deny a potential employer permission to obtain your credit report.  If you don't give a potential employer permission for them to peak, and they don't tell you that the reason you didn't get the job was because your FICO score is only in double digits, then they are violating the tenets of the Fair Credit and Reporting Act.  Even so, and even if you're not job hunting, it couldn't hurt to make an effort to improve your FICO scores - pay your bills on time, pay more than the amount due, close dormant accounts - that kind of stuff all helps to push your scores up a bit.

Now, you also might be wondering about that bankruptcy you're thinking about filing.  Can you be denied a job or even fired, just because you've filed bankruptcy?  The answer is a vociferous NO.  Bankruptcy is a difficult enough decision to make, without factoring in its affect on your employment.  Fortunately, the U.S. Bankruptcy code prevents discrimination against a debtor by an employer or potential employer.

Now, you've got no more excuses for not filing bankruptcy, if you were considering it at all.  For more information on bankruptcy, take a few moments to view one of our bankruptcy videos in the DebtStoppers Video Learning Center.  Or arrange to speak to one of our DebtStoppers bankruptcy and debt relief attorneys and we'll show you what your options are.

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