Sense & Sensitivity

Could Bad Credit Threaten New Job?

DEAR HARRIETTE: I am up for a new job that would be an amazing opportunity for me and my family. I just learned that if I make it to the final round, the company will want to check my credit report. In terms of work, I have excellent skills. In terms of money, I am a disaster.

I got divorced a few years ago, and my ex doesn’t pay for any of the bills he agreed to pay. That includes my son’s college education, the mortgage that we both share or any of our shared credit card debt. I can’t swing it by myself. I have taken him to court, but he still doesn’t pay. I am afraid that I won’t get the job when they see the wreck of my credit. Do you think I should tell them why it is like that and that I am working hard to pay off my debt? -- Bad Credit, Pittsburgh

DEAR BAD CREDIT: You should prepare a clear, honest and transparent statement to tell your potential employer. When they ask to review your credit, let them know that your credit is suffering right now and why. By getting in front of it, you give context to whatever the number is. You will need to demonstrate a commitment to mending your credit. You may have to explain your plan to them. If they like you enough, they may forgive you based on the circumstances.

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