Federal Job: Is it only for people with good credit score?

Submitted by Theresa on Wed, 11/19/2008 - 03:20

I read somewhere in this forum that he is trying to improve his credit to get a federal job. I didnt know that it is a requirement to have a good credit score to get a federal job. I would think it is mainly for people who are trying to work in a financial instituition in a federal government. It seems very discriminating to judge your character through your credit score. Can somebody give me some input about this because i am looking forward to getting a job in the VA hospital system.

Hi Theresa
Yes, your financial background may be checked before you are offered a Federal Government job. Almost all employers scrutinize your credit report before you are offered a job and if your credit score is low, you may not be considered for the job. Credit score determines not only the credit worthiness of the individual but also shows how much he is responsible in repaying the money he has borrowed and hence his responsibility towards his duty.

Wed, 11/19/2008 - 07:44 Permalink

Mostly, the employers including the federal government pull out your credit report and check your credit score to be sure how conscious you are in repaying back your existing debt. Not only in financial sectors, when you are selected for jobs in defense and police departments, your credit report and score may also be taken into account. This is because, if your credit score is low, you will always be trying to improve your score by repaying back the debt and for repaying back the debt, you may go for taking bribes. That's the main reason why maintaining a good credit score is so important

Wed, 11/19/2008 - 09:11 Permalink

Yes, justin is right. But the employer has to get a written authorization from you before they pull out your credit report to make a background check under the Fair debt collection practices act. However, if you do not authorize them to pull out your credit report, you may not get the job. Moreover, even after getting a job, the employer may conduct a credit check which taking decision on your promotion.

Wed, 11/19/2008 - 09:35 Permalink

I have learned about this myself since coming here. It was at first really surprising to me that an employer could use your credit score to determine whether you get a certian job or not. I have not run across any personally. I do understand the importance of this if it was in the federal goverment or dealing with any type of money. Just goes to show everyone their credit really is crucial and worth prtecting.

Wed, 11/19/2008 - 17:24 Permalink

My friend just got hired in the VA hospital. She said that her credit report was not checked. Are far as she knows, VA wants to know judgment against you but really doesn,t care about credit scores. Looking at VA hospital employee population, they all don't seem to have good credits.

Thu, 11/20/2008 - 03:36 Permalink

Most of the employers pull out your credit report to check whether you are regular in making payments towards your obligations. They may not check your credit score. But if you have negative information like judgment and charge offs in your credit report, you may find problem getting the job. Judgments and bankruptcies give a very negative image to the employer and one should always avoid such types of public records in your credit report.

Thu, 11/20/2008 - 07:25 Permalink

We live in the back woods here Theresa and they do not really pull reports much. I have had a few jobs over the years and my husband switched to a high paying job. They have never done a credit check. I think most may do it depending on what position you are going for. My sister is a veteran ond she works for the State. For some reason they never pulled her record either. Guess it really just all depends but I have heard of employers doing this. Myself I think they would be more concrened with their criminal report.

Thu, 11/20/2008 - 14:32 Permalink

I see this more and more with the employers pulling credit reports, I have asked them why they do this and thier reasons seem reasonable really. Some of the companies have to give their employees credit cards and company vehicles. They are concerned that the employees will use the credit cards for purposes other than work and use the vehicle for other than work purposes.

Most of the time the jobs that don't have this type of employment that will pull the reports are the ones where the employee will be handling money or some other financial transactions.

If it is a factory job or some other job that does not require these situations then they usually won't pull it.

Credit reports will also affect your car insurance rates, they think that if you have a bad score you are more likely to commit fraud, intentionly wreck or vandalize your vehicle to file a claim or do some other fraudulant activity.

bad credit can affect many parts of your life, it is good to start repairing it as soon as possible.

Sun, 11/23/2008 - 01:20 Permalink

Gn that sounded like a tongue twister:thier reasons seem reasonable really. LOL. You are correct though..they have some really good reasons for pulling the report. How many times I have heard on the local news about people taking their company credit card for a ride. So I guess if you have a bad cedit record it would be ebst to hang around the jobs that do not pull your record, there are some higher paying ones, and then when it clears take it from there.

Sun, 11/23/2008 - 01:31 Permalink
Question (not verified)

I think the pratice of pulling credit reports as an indicator of job performance or preditor of potential criminality is insane. It just goes to show we have not advanced as a civilization much....Years ago, thumb screws were used as lie detector tests--the same level of thinking has not changed.

Tue, 03/03/2009 - 03:54 Permalink

Hi Question
As far as I know, the employers pull out your credit report only to check your credit history which reflects your sense of responsibility. Moreover, if you are delinquent, there is a possibility of the creditor bringing judgment against you to garnish your wages. Now, since the employers may face difficulty while garnishing your wages, they do not hire employees with poor credit history.

Tue, 03/03/2009 - 05:56 Permalink
marknez (not verified)

I have filed Chapter 7 bankruptcy. Can I get a Federal Job?

Sat, 08/29/2009 - 19:11 Permalink
suzy (not verified)

Can the Federal gov. pull your credit report without your permission?

Sat, 09/26/2009 - 19:11 Permalink
Mike400 (not verified)

it is true that companies and federal employers pull your credit report. However, it is usually more to scrutinize someone's payment history than the credit score. I had a 740 and a low balance on two cards when my identity was astolen two years ago. I lost my job and have not been able to get anything permanent since. Now, my credit record is destroyed. I couldn't pay the extra debt even if I wanted to. But, I no that I shouldn't have to. I called the FCC who put a hold on my SSN number, so no other accounts can be opened in my name. They told me to file with local police, which I did. However, they just took a report and all of the info. I had on the accounts that I did not open. I have not heard from the detective since.

Any suggestions??

Fri, 11/13/2009 - 17:12 Permalink
brad (not verified)

I have been offered a job that provides a company car and a gas credit card. It is contingent on my background check which can include a credit check. I have no problem on background check but my credit history is not good. what are my chances of getting the job

Tue, 12/29/2009 - 00:36 Permalink

That depends on how much the company itself takes this into consideration, I have to say if they are going to give you a company credit card this may be an issue, all you can do is give it a shot and see what they say.

Every company has different policies, if they rely on credit then it is very possible that it may jeopardize your possibility of employment with this company.

Tue, 12/29/2009 - 01:20 Permalink

I think also it would depend on how old some of the negatives are. If they are older thahn a few years and you have some good accounts that show on the positive side you may not have much of a problem. On the application did they ask you about any of this? If they do ask,whether on the app or at the interview, remember honesty is always the best policy and can go a long way in the eyes of an employer.I once beat out two of my friends on getting a job because i was honest. Even though they had more experience and nothing bad to hold them back I still got the job. I was amazed!

Tue, 12/29/2009 - 14:18 Permalink

True, you should come up with an explaination a head of time, some people suffer credit related problems due to health, divorce and many other situations beyond their control.

Be prepared to explain it away if given the opportunity, some may give that much to you where other employers will simply send you a letter denying you employment due to your credit score.

This is one of the reasons that it is very important to make sure that your credit report reflects accurate information.

Tue, 12/29/2009 - 16:00 Permalink

This is a good time of year to also begin to start pulling your reports. I always try to pull one in January and then use the other free pulls when I know an item is suppose to be dropping off. Its good to get into some type of habit like that. It is so easy for unaccurate information to make its way on to a persons credit report. Instead of waitng for errors to build up it is better to keep your credit report maintained.

Wed, 12/30/2009 - 16:30 Permalink
eric12345 (not verified)

so does anyone know what happen when someone is already been working for a federal agency then had a bad credit / defaulted on an account, what happens then...

Thu, 12/31/2009 - 20:09 Permalink

(Alittle confused about a post)..Brad..you said you were "offered a job..." Did you ALREADY get it? I live in a small town..here, if someone is applying for a Gov (County,etc.) position, they DO have background checks done on them. I don't really know about credit checks. I work for the County. I have had several background checks..but, I don't know about Credit checks.

Fri, 01/01/2010 - 11:59 Permalink
AC (not verified)


Tue, 01/05/2010 - 00:43 Permalink

This is a very possible scenario, many employers use credit scores as a screening device, I could see where they may monitor it to continue employment as well especially if you have access to a company credit card or other financials dealing with the company.

Wed, 01/06/2010 - 18:35 Permalink

I've known a few people who DID have their Identity stolen. They had their wallet stolen, CC's used, etc. An application was filled by someone using the name, on the DL's, that was stolen. It took a long time to straightened out the mess, but, FINALLY was 'back on track' with things. ONE of these people lost their job because their Credit showed several outstanding debts that were NOT hers. Bounced checks, etc. So..yes...it IS a possibility someone could lose their job because of someone else's iggnorance.

Thu, 01/07/2010 - 10:47 Permalink
jkd301 (not verified)

Credit checks lol, well I underwent one after I retired from 22 years of police work, I wanted a part time job at a security company. I have mixed feelings about the results, I was not hired, and it took several weeks of checking around to find out why. I had several bad entries on TRW because of wrong information that was not mine. I never got the job, but did get those entries removed. I work for the government now, and in a position that requires a secret clearence, I have never had a credit check from them. Go figure......

Tue, 01/26/2010 - 02:34 Permalink
Aaron (not verified)

Hi jkd,

It's a great pleasure to hear that you could trouble shoot your problems:), and ultimately get a job. However I will request you to always keep an eye on your credit report and score.

All the best,


Wed, 01/27/2010 - 07:48 Permalink
laila (not verified)

hi i have a question , i have a email from somebody who's gonna hire me as a babysitter ,she ask me for resume , reference and credit reprt so it look to me abnormal to ask about my credit report , so my question can this lady stole my identity and use it for her own benefit
need help please what should i do , thank you.

Tue, 02/02/2010 - 17:49 Permalink

Hi Laila,

Employers asking for your credit report before employing you for a post is quite common. They do this to check your liability. This is common in baby sitting jobs too. Another thing is that you don't need to hand over your credit report to the employer. You are simply needed to show it. However if he/she asks you to handover the report, don't do that.

Wed, 02/03/2010 - 07:14 Permalink
laila (not verified)

thank you justin your advice is very helpfull i have the interview today and and i'm gonna do what ver you said thank you again .

Wed, 02/03/2010 - 13:51 Permalink

Hello Laila,

Hope that you will be able to troubleshoot your problems and get the job.

Thu, 02/04/2010 - 07:19 Permalink
June (not verified)

Does the FDIC check your credit? I got a job contigent to background check including a credit check. I have bad credit. Anybody knows what are my chances of getting the job?

I will also get a company credit card. My thing is that I have worked for several banks before and never had a problem with credit and I always get a company credit card. I'm a little nervous.

Mon, 02/15/2010 - 15:10 Permalink

Hi June,

Whether or not, a company is going to check your credit report, before hiring you, depends totally on the company. However, such credit checks are quite common. Companies asks for a person's credit report to check if the person is responsible or not. If you have bad credit history, and bad credit score, it may negatively affect your chances of getting the job.

Tue, 02/16/2010 - 08:00 Permalink
Heike (not verified)

Hm, what about if somebody falls on hard times. My husband and I both lost our jobs and we have been using our credit cards to pay utilities. We are doing what we can do make money. There just isn't enough work right now. We are both in school trying to better ourselves. What is wrong with that?? Talk about judging a person who is trying very hard! So I have a lot of debt right now, I can't help it. I can live with it or kill myself. I should not be denied a job because of it. I have no criminal record, isn't that enough. Oh yeah, I don't have designer clothes a fancy house, flat screen TV or SUV, none of that. I am just trying to get by, my goodness, give me break!!

Fri, 07/02/2010 - 16:40 Permalink
jonescd (not verified)

I was offered a seasonal Foresty Technician with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. I had previously lost my job and was unable to pay for some debts that total around $1500. They are in collections but I am paying them off now. I was asked to do the EQIP application. Will that application fail me with a credit score of 634 (on the high end of fair and almost to good). Most of these debts are more than 2 years old.
Thanks for any help.

Tue, 08/10/2010 - 01:11 Permalink

Hi Heike:

I am afraid there's no way out. You need to have good credit in order to qualify for a job.


Can I know who asked you to do the EQIP application?



Tue, 08/10/2010 - 09:25 Permalink
p (not verified)

Financial institutions are not the only places requiring credit checks, pretty much everything over average income. Really is stupid, we are in the biggest recession in our history and many people have lost their jobs. Talk about screwed, you loose your job, but to get a good job you have to have credit. You cannot co-sign for a job. I myself am a victim, yes victim. I had 1 years worth of living expenses saved in the bank. I lost my job, put everything up for sale, including the house I had 35% equity in. Could not sell the house, and now 2 years later (I made it stretch a long way) I am broke and no full time employment. And credit floating away. And no I am not and have not been on unemployment.

Thu, 08/19/2010 - 23:17 Permalink

There are talks on abolishing this credit check of the employees credit. If this comes in effect, many people will be relieved of not losing a good job offer.


Mon, 09/20/2010 - 11:05 Permalink
hey (not verified)

is this thread still active? I have also Bancruptcy history 5 yrs ago, and some deliquency. Mostly Medical Bills not me but from my wife.

then Economy got worsen. I know No blaming... but I did try to pay some off.

Will this still affect my chance of getting hired in Federal Jobs? i.E Healthcare

Sun, 11/21/2010 - 03:34 Permalink
ROUGH TRUTH (not verified)

THOUGH I WAS A GREAT EMPLOYEE FOR OVER 30 YEARS - all that does not matter. The economy bombed and unemployed people are in an "over abudance". They can pick and choose.

Wed, 02/02/2011 - 22:45 Permalink
Ms.Fed (not verified)

Does the Federal Government do credit checks before or after an interview?

Mon, 03/14/2011 - 14:39 Permalink
surf dog (not verified)

Got a tentative job offer from Army Corps of Engineers. Credit score ranges from 585-640. Sent in paperwork fpr them to do background check(no mention of credit check)...will let you know what happens.

Tue, 03/29/2011 - 02:48 Permalink
I hate Republicans (not verified)

"As far as I know, the employers pull out your credit report only to check your credit history which reflects your sense of responsibility."

Your credit report shows how you pay your bills. Given that over 20 million people have been laid off in the last two years, and now have no income - DUE TO NO FAULT OF THEIR OWN - how can you say that a poor credit report shows a lack of responsibility on their part?

If you can show where a person paid their bills in a timely fashion UNTIL THEIR COMPANY WENT OUT OF BUSINESS (not the employees fault) - how does their recent slow payments show a lack of responsibility on their part?

Sun, 04/17/2011 - 20:37 Permalink
claypool (not verified)

i worked for the government for 13 years I left because they was going to fire me. How can I get back into the governement i been gone for years I still have my years. I am working on my credit report should I include that in my hinting for a federal job

Wed, 05/25/2011 - 22:27 Permalink

How were they going to fire you? Are you talking aqbout working a 'civilian' gov job? Well....maybe go down to your local gov building and see what they have. usually county, federal, etc..they will do credit/background checks. Pretty strict about that. I work a county job and they do both. I'm also in the Militay..and YEP...they check it all!!

Fri, 05/27/2011 - 01:42 Permalink

hello, 'SHOCKED'...........I just don't know what to say about the situation with your son. I'm so sorry.
The issue of basing who you are on a credit score IS terrible..I DO agree. I know the 'best' people (had trouble with debt because of divorces, etc) and have very low credit scores and trying to re-build their credit. ALOT more GOV jobs check credit scores ( I don't agree, either), but, I suppose it depends on what position (through the GOV) you are seeking.

Tue, 06/21/2011 - 09:39 Permalink
Trishaa (not verified)

This not fair-ex: You lose your job and all bills are paid-you do n ot find work for a year. How can this say that you can't pay your bills?
How can you say that poss employee can't do the wok?
This is discriminatory in nature.

Fri, 01/13/2012 - 00:39 Permalink

You have to remember..when 'lenders', gov., etc., see your credit report or background check, all they see is what is in front of them. ALOT of people have fallen on 'hard times', lately. Were you trying to apply for a Federal job? If you don't mind me asking, ..where?

Sat, 01/14/2012 - 15:01 Permalink
Little One (not verified)

I was recently interviewed for a federal position and I am really worried that my credit score is not high enough. Can anybody give me a range of a good credit score. I would appreciate it!!!!

Wed, 03/21/2012 - 23:06 Permalink
Just to say (not verified)

So they want you to have good credit what about if you have been you of work and Ok keep house or pay unsecured debt? I understand but would you need a job if you were in great finances? I understand if it was accounting maybe but how many of us have had out credit hit and hard. Me for one I would love to pay people give me a job that pay's a little.

Thu, 10/18/2012 - 23:12 Permalink