Poor credit histories hindering job hunters in Georgia

Poor credit histories hindering job hunters in Georgia

Many Americans are having difficulty digging out of the recession. Economists are predicting positive economic recovery in Georgia but job growth is slower in 2013 than it was last year and Augusta is reporting job losses over six of the past seven quarters. As unemployed residents search for jobs, they are finding an unexpected hindrance to gaining new employment.

Credit report use in hiring

What many job hunters do not realize is that potential employers regularly use applicants’ credit reports during the hiring process. With numerous people applying for each available job, those making the hiring decisions are using credit histories to narrow the applicant pool of those they will consider for a particular posting.

This relatively new hiring practice creates difficulties for those already in financial distress. Often the issue is not due to overspending; a job loss, divorce, injury or family emergency can quickly deplete a family’s savings account. For many, it does not take long to get behind on their monthly bills.

As an employer reviews a job applicant’s credit report, he or she checks to see if the potential employee has a history of such issues as:

  • Late payments
  • Unpaid credit card bills
  • Outstanding judgments
  • Foreclosures
  • Bankruptcies

A number of consumer, employment and advocacy groups are fighting to break the connection between credit reports and jobs. Eight states already have laws restricting the use of credit reports in hiring practices and three more have legislation pending regarding the same issue. The federal government is likely to address the issue in the future as the unemployment rate continues to hover around 8 percent.

Improving your credit

Foreclosure may be avoidable if late payments are addressed quickly. A Georgia foreclosure lawyer may help you find a solution that allows you to keep your home by filing for a Chapter 13 bankruptcy.

Additionally, it is important for job seekers to review their credit reports on an annual basis. Not only may errors affect one’s ability to obtain a new job, mistakes in your credit history can greatly affect your ability to do such things as:

  • Purchase a new home
  • Refinance your mortgage
  • Set up a payment plan for medical expenses

Having a bankruptcy on your record is not a permanent blemish on your credit history. Many are surprised to find that offers of new credit arriving in their mailboxes as soon as six months after filing for bankruptcy.

If you are struggling with overwhelming debt, consult with an experienced debt relief attorney in order to learn what options are available to you. A lawyer can help you decide whether bankruptcy is right for you and your situation.

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