5 Ways Debt or Bad Credit May Affect Your Employment

Woman Touching Her Head — Overland Park, KS — Wiesner & Frackowiak LCMost Americans know that a high debt load and ongoing credit problems could prevent them from being approved for new credit. But did you know that it could also jeopardize your employment potential?

If the idea of your debt impacting your job — or future promotions — is new, here are five reasons that employers could be wary of those with a worrisome credit history.

1. You May Experience More Temptation to Steal

When an employer sees a potential new employee that is plagued by burdensome debt, they may wonder if that employee could be at risk of theft, embezzlement, or other actions to help deal with it.

Certainly, an employer might think twice about hiring this employee to handle cash, do confidential accounting jobs, or work around valuable inventory. But the possibilities of an overstretched employee supplementing their income with small, pilfered items exists at nearly all levels of employment. Remember that employers have often had bad experiences in the past and may be more wary now.

2. You’ll Have More Responsibility

An employer that isn’t overly concerned with employee credit and debt history at lower levels may have a different view when it comes to granting more responsibility. When promotions come up, will the employer feel that a big debtor is an added security risk?

The most well-known example of this is government security clearance. Many positions for local, state, and federal government agencies mandate a credit check. The primary reason is because you could be unduly influenced or pressured by the holders of debts or someone who offers to pay them off. This is also usually applicable to outside government contractors as well.

3. You May Be More Distracted

Certainly, the vast majority of debtors would never resort to corporate theft or even pickpocketing from their employer. But financial worries can weigh heavily on a person and create other downsides. For example, someone struggling with debt may not sleep well, they may be juggling things at home, and they may spend their days looking for solutions or dealing with creditors.

All this — the employer may worry — could distract the employee from the best performance of their job. An employer who spends time and money recruiting high-quality employees is looking for the person who they feel offers the best chance at success for both parties. And an applicant with overarching outside concerns may not give the right impression.

4. Employers Don’t Like Scandal

Today’s employers are increasingly careful to try to avoid any future scandals. This is why a background check these days often includes not only your credit history but also your social media activity. No one wants to be the collateral damage of an employee’s personal life.

Having a financial problem, of course, isn’t scandalous by itself. But an employer may fear that creditors might harass their employee on their grounds. There may already be evidence of public harassment of the employee by creditors. And a wary employer could worry about getting linked to a messy fraud or tax case.

5. You May Appear to Lack Management Skills

Finally, the employer may make assumptions based on a person’s unfortunate credit history or current struggles. If they conclude that the applicant for a job or promotion can’t manage their own finances and personal situation, they may wonder if this could translate to poor management skills at their job. This is particularly important if you will oversee others, work with a budget, or prepare financial reports.

You have a lot to offer both current and future employers. Don’t let that be overshadowed by an ongoing battle with high debt from your past. At Wiesner & Frackowiak, LC, we can help. Make an appointment today to learn how to resolve your debts so that they no longer present a concern for you or companies you want to be part of.

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