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Mykle Ykle

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Should employers not hire you or fire you when they discover your bad credit history?

It has been a sad situation for me and many others in the USA (I don't know if this is an issue worldwide) I have great qualifications and work experience. Yet, in the majority of states you are obligated to submit to a criminal background check which is completely understandable, but that also includes a credit check. I understand that a credit check should be mandatory for executive, banking, casinos and industries directly involving money. Sadly, those of us with bad credit are being discriminated for regular jobs i.e. retail, call centers, customer service.

The government, banks and debt collectors wants their money, as they should. Yet, if you have bad credit, it's a lot harder to find a job making it impossible to get out of debt, let alone be a productive citizen.

This is an issue that is not widely discussed, I've searched online and there are some bills being proposed to end this discrimination but I don't think is really going anywhere.

I would like to have the TED community input in the most civil way possible.

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  • Feb 8 2013: You've been in bad credit? You've had low marks at school? You've been fired in the past? "It's your fault." is the thought that strikes the mind of any person, since in general it is known that it can be done better.

    Why should prejudices of bad credit (that you're unable to properly manage a situation, to assess risks/expenses that are needed from those that are excess, to understand a bad choices for unfavourable circumstances in time, etc.) be wrong at all? Any reason that may show you as a "looser" even if through preconceptions, has to be demonstrated to be biased or wrong.

    If you feel uncomfortable and you know the other will check it, step in the topic first. And explain how you learned to do better in the "recent" past. Show that your satisfaction with life and capabilities have improved and not diminished, maintain a positive mindset when describing it.

    Certainly, bad credit as bad marks (or good ones) means nothing, but if you don't give people the big picture, if you don't let them know you and your skills, the only information they will have on you is the one on the peace of sheet.. ..and I challenge you to state that it is a positive curriculum aspect to have bad credit. Probably it's "not bad" at most.
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      Feb 8 2013: Wow, someone feels bothered! I didn't post the debate to describe my situation exclusively, but a wider spectrum of a lot of people who are in this situation. It's a TED conversation, not therapy.
      • Feb 16 2013: I don't think Robert was bothered, but just saying that instead of you allowing the company that you are applying to just assuming that you are a "loser" because of your bad credit, but to go ahead and tell them your situation before they pull your credit history. Let them know what your circumstances WERE and what they are now so they have the big picture and not just assume the worst.

        I, too, have bad credit and am currently in college working on my bachelor's degree and am worried about the same thing when I go for a job. Others have given me the same advice that Robert is giving you (in maybe a different way). Be proactive and let employers know you are a responsible person that can do the job they are hiring you to do and ask them not to judge you by your credit report. In all likelihood, the person doing to hiring has falled on hard times themselves.

        Good luck, Mykle!

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