Can You Get a Job With Bad Credit? My Horror Story

The process started in January. I had begun interviewing for a position at a local bank branch that I had done personal business with for five years. I had multiple products with the branch, and when I opened my first bank account at age 16, it was here. After a lengthy three-month-long interview process across multiple branches and different positions, I got a call.

I was ecstatic. I had received my first-ever full-time job offer, and it was from a company that I had wanted to work with for years. Everything was going well — my job interviews were amazing, and everyone that I had met seemed to genuinely enjoy their work. I was excited to get started.

 

Trying to Get a Job With Bad Credit

I knew there was some pre-hire stuff to take care of, but nothing that I thought would interfere with the job offer. There were the typical tax forms, NDAs, and background and credit checks. I knew my background was clean, but the credit check scared me a bit. I knew I had bad credit, but I also thought that the check might just be a formality. Maybe it wouldn’t actually matter. Maybe they just wanted to make sure I didn’t have any bankruptcies or public records. Boy, was I wrong.

I received a call one day, a week or two after officially accepting the offer. A nice corporate woman from HR asked to speak with me. I obliged, and was taken through one of the worst experiences I can recall: a full breakdown of my credit history. Line by line, the woman read to me every account on my credit report, what the balance was, and asked if I had paid on it. For every account, the answer was no.

I could feel the job slipping from my fingers with each line of the credit report that she read off to me. But I didn’t lose all hope.

I was given a chance to share my reasoning as to why I hadn’t been able to pay on any of my balances owed. I provided a letter stating my hardships, attached evidence backing up my claims, and sent it in.

A week and a half later, I got the call I had been dreading: the decision. After a lengthy review process, the the bank had decided to rescind my offer. I was told that I could either apply for a position that didn’t require credit verification or wait six months and try again for this one.

 

The Road to Recovery

For a few hours, I hit what was one of the lowest points I’d experienced in months. I didn’t know where to go from there. I didn’t know what I was going to do or how I was going to be able to pay my increasing bills. I stopped, took a few deep breaths, and decided not to waste any more energy on the issue. I knew I was in the process of rebuilding my credit, and I knew that it was only going to take time. This wasn’t something I could fix overnight. It was something I would have to work on and try again.

Over the next few months, I will continue reaching out to creditors to negotiate balances in an attempt to reduce my overall debt load and improve my credit score. I do plan on re-applying for that job in six months’ time, but I’m not sure that it will be enough time for my credit to fully recover. In that time, the least I can do is establish a positive payment history going forward and show progress on old accounts. Any positive progress at all is something that I can use to my advantage during the reapplication process. Hopefully that will increase my chances of landing that position . . . again.

Ready to take the next step to improving your credit score?

The opinions expressed in this article are those of the author alone and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or views of CentSai Inc.

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