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Can credit card debt cost me my job?


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Old 23rd September 2017, 2:48 PM   #16
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The employers think it goes to reliability & the ability to make good decisions. Obviously if you have control over the company's finances they don't want to hire somebody who will be tempted to steal to pay their own debts.


$10k on disposable toys doesn't look good. $10k in medical bills is a different story but then the applicant faces the possibility of being discriminated against over health or caregiver issues.
I wonder if this is true. I've made a purchase in this amount in the past (engagement ring) so I could get the points on my card and have some legal recourse. I have a hard time beiving I would be denied a job because of a current balance.

I think they look for people with systemic credit issues who might show poor judgement or steal. I don't think it's tied to a dollar amount.

Say the job was $200k/year. Would $10k on a credit card be that much?
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Old 23rd September 2017, 6:17 PM   #17
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I understand that some (or most?) federal govt jobs require credit check. My guess is that they just wanted to make sure their future employees don't have lots of delinquent debts in the past. I also doubt if they can see your current outstanding balance in your credit cards. Honestly, it's a free world, how you are spending your money is nobody's damn business, as long as you don't default on your debts.
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Old 23rd September 2017, 6:25 PM   #18
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A friend of mine was rejected from the local police department because of his credit. I don't know if it was anything particularly, I wanna say it was just the credit score but I can't say for sure
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Old 23rd September 2017, 6:29 PM   #19
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Say the job was $200k/year.
....
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Old 23rd September 2017, 8:56 PM   #20
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....
Some people make that much!

In financial institutions if your credit sucks you likely won't get a job. Too much risk of someone stealing if they can't pay their bills.
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Old 24th September 2017, 1:33 AM   #21
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Yeah, if the job involved, say, financial planning or managing a client's assets or such, I could MAYBE see the correlation. But the vast majority of jobs don't involve managing finances. Granted a large debt might be caused by financial irresponsibility or poor financial decisions, but plenty of people are terrible with finances and yet make pretty good engineers, firemen, lawyers, whatever.

I am really surprised it's legal to discriminate against a job applicant for something that cannot really be proved to affect their job, in the US. It feels like a rather dangerous slippery slope. What next, are people going to be turned down for jobs because they are single parents, or might be getting pregnant, or have an STD?

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There are quite a few jobs that pay that much, haha.
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Old 24th September 2017, 7:38 AM   #22
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OP, do you have debt or do you have bad credit? I do not think the former will be an issue but the latter could be.

In the US, your credit rating is used for everything from stuff you would expect (interest rate you'll get on a loan) to other, less directly applicable stuff - like your auto insurance rate and employability (even in non-financial positions).

OP, go on Credit Karma and get an estimate of your credit score. That will give you a sense of where you stand.
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Old 25th September 2017, 8:37 AM   #23
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Thanks all for the replies. I would say my credit score is average at best, maybe mid 600s, but that is due entirely to the presence of the maxed out credit cards. As I said I have no derogatory remarks and a credit report would show that I’ve made every payment on time, but I currently hold about $4000 in total credit card debt on these maxed out cards.

The job is not a financial institution, but I am essentially a project manager for a project which has a set amount allocated to it. I will have responsibility to spend the money wisely so the project doesn’t go over budget and making sure the company gets the best deal we can. But they do have an another employee who handles the budgeting for the organization. Gosh, I’m so worried.
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Old 25th September 2017, 8:53 AM   #24
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Redguitar -- I have my fingers crossed for you.


Sevencity -- it's not the amount of the debt. It's the debt to equity ratio. Somebody making $200k per year who owes $10k has a debt equal to 5% of his/her income which is no big deal. But if the salary was only $30k per year that debt represents 1/3 of the income, before taxes. After taxes, there would be very little money left for food & housing after that kind of debt service. Moreover, if you have $10k in credit card debt but you have $30k in available credit the debt to equity ratio doesn't raise many red flags but when you max out the cards then people wonder / worry.


Again, the type of debt may make a difference -- credit card vs. medical bills vs. student loans. A lot of factors go in hiring decisions; sometimes more then just does the candidate have the basic educational qualifications.
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Old 25th September 2017, 9:35 AM   #25
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Thanks all for the replies. I would say my credit score is average at best, maybe mid 600s, but that is due entirely to the presence of the maxed out credit cards. As I said I have no derogatory remarks and a credit report would show that Iíve made every payment on time, but I currently hold about $4000 in total credit card debt on these maxed out cards.

The job is not a financial institution, but I am essentially a project manager for a project which has a set amount allocated to it. I will have responsibility to spend the money wisely so the project doesnít go over budget and making sure the company gets the best deal we can. But they do have an another employee who handles the budgeting for the organization. Gosh, Iím so worried.
$4k doesn't seem like a lot.

When do you hear back on the background check?
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Old 25th September 2017, 9:54 AM   #26
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$4k doesn't seem like a lot.

When do you hear back on the background check?
No idea. Someone said background checks generally take 3-5 days, but I’ve also been told their Human Resources department is very understaffed. It took them a week just to even send the paperwork to me after I accepted their verbal offer.
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Old 25th September 2017, 9:59 AM   #27
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Objectively speaking, the credit card debt does call into question my ability to manage a project with a budget. Maybe I shouldnít get my hopes up about getting this job
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Old 25th September 2017, 10:13 AM   #28
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No. Have faith. It's powerful.
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Old 25th September 2017, 10:17 AM   #29
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I understand that some (or most?) federal govt jobs require credit check. My guess is that they just wanted to make sure their future employees don't have lots of delinquent debts in the past. I also doubt if they can see your current outstanding balance in your credit cards. Honestly, it's a free world, how you are spending your money is nobody's damn business, as long as you don't default on your debts.
Well, for federal govt jobs I would guess they would be more interested in seeing who you owe money to than the amount of the debt. Conflicts of interest and things like that.
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Old 3rd October 2017, 11:36 AM   #30
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They said the background check went through and Iím officially hired
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