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FreedomPlus: Credit Score and Your Job Hunt

Eager to get out into the world and start earning their keep, many college grads go straight from the classroom to the job hunt. Between revising resumes, updating Linkedin and reaching out to connections, there is a lot to do. 

However, FreedomPlus has found that an area many people might be overlooking is their credit score. Many graduates do not know that checking credit reports is a part of many employers’ evaluation process.

With this post, FreedomPlus hopes to provide an outline for how potential employees could reduce the chances that a poor credit score prevents them from finding a job.

How important is credit score in the job hunt?
According to CNN, “Sixty percent of employers recently surveyed said they run credit checks on all or some potential new hires.”

Jay Meschke, president of EFL Associates says, "Credit report information is an excellent data point when comparing and contrasting two or more candidates for the same position.”

Knowing this, it is important to spend some time figuring out what is on your credit report. That way, you know if adjustments are needed. 

But how? 

FreeedomPlus has some advice that could help.

Many employers are running credit checks on the potential new hires.

Find out what’s on your credit report.
Before anything else, you need to find out where you stand. You can’t make the proper adjustments without knowing where you've gone wrong. Under federal law, everyone has access to a free credit report annually. These are readily available online.

With your credit report in hand, the first step is to look it over thoroughly for errors or inaccuracies. You can dispute anything you believe to be a mistake, and the credit bureau is legally required to investigate.

If you have looked at your credit report and it’s mostly empty, you need to work on establishing a history

One idea is to apply for a secured credit card. By applying for a secured credit card, you give yourself an opportunity to build a history with a credit card backed by a cash deposit. Secured credit cards work just like a traditional credit card, but if you fail to pay, your cash deposit will be used as collateral. Shop around for a secured card that reports to the major credit bureaus—Equifax, Experian and TransUnion. 

Another option is to ask a family member to add you as an authorized user on their card. Again, make sure it will be reported to the major credit bureaus.

Improving the Credit Report
At FreedomPlus we know improving your credit report could simply come down to habits.

1. Making sure all your payments are on time is the number one priority. And this doesn't just mean credit accounts. Utility bills, medical bills and student loans that are not paid on time can all negatively affect your credit report.

2. Keep a low balance. Credit cards come with a certain limit. It is important to understand that your credit report will be affected if you come close to that limit. Keeping your balance around 30% (ideally 10%) could improve your report.

Still not sure?
Looked over your credit report and still have issues that seem impossible to solve?

It may be time to contact a financial professional. Be sure to look for a legitimate professional and not someone promising to solve all your problems instantly. 

According to the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, “No one can legally remove accurate and timely negative information from a credit report.” You can, however, improve your credit report over time by sticking to personal debt repayment plan.

Working with a financial professional could be a worthwhile investment. Using their guidance, you could set a course for a credit report that doesn't hold you back.

Disclaimer : This is a Sponsored Post.

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