Here is the next installment in our the Reader’s Questions Series which highlight questions emailed to me by you, the readers of Money Q&A. Be sure to find out at the end of this article how you can receive a free copy of Dave Ramsey’s book, The Total Money Makeover if your money question is chosen to be featured on an upcoming blog post.
If you’re not familiar with Dave Ramsey’s book, you should run right out and get it. It is one of my top ten best personal finance books that everyone should read. Now….on to our reader’s question.
This week’s featured question is from Judy who asks, “What type of letter can I write to my employer to convince him that I am worth hiring despite having a bad credit score?”
Write A Personal Statement To The Credit Bureaus
Almost 50% of all employers run a background check or credit check on their potential new hires. This can be a big hurdle for people who have been down on their luck or had issues with their credit recently. But, far too often, we are all seen as just a set of data on a sheet of paper that can have serious consequences on your financial well-being and future job prospects.
What if your credit report had incorrect data on it that you were having trouble correcting for whatever reason? What if you have been making great strides in cleaning up your credit score, but it hasn’t started to really take effect on your credit score yet?
Who is your voice to potential creditors and employers? You have to be, but it can be hard if all they see is your credit report. There is a way to speak your peace in your credit report though.
Judy asked about a letter to her future employer. It is not exactly a letter explaining bad credit in the true sense of the word that explains your bad credit. But, what you can do to show a future employer is to include a 100-word statement to your credit report.
It is called a personal statement, and the purpose of the personal statement is to show why you feel any negative marks on your credit report are not valid or why there are extenuating circumstances that led to the negative data. Judy mentioned that her husband had been out of work for quite a long time for example.
Each Credit Bureau Lets You Add A Personal Statement
To add a personal statement to your credit report, the credit bureaus require you to request an actual credit report from either them or through annualcreditreport.com. You cannot even use a FICO credit report from myFICO.com. You must get the actual credit report.90% of top lenders use FICO® Scores.
You can purchase a credit report or subscribe to Experian’s TripleAdvantage credit monitoring service to get one. You can also obtain each one of your credit reports for free once every twelve months from annualcreditreport.com.
This is the only place to receive a free credit report with no strings attached. You can also request a free credit report from the credit bureau that has recently been responsible for the denial of credit issued to you in the past 60 days as well. When you receive your credit report, it will contain instructions on how to start a dispute or add a personal statement to your credit report.
One of the biggest drawbacks is that you will have to submit personal statements to all three credit bureaus: Experian, Equifax, and TransUnion. Anyone who pulls your credit report either when you apply for a new loan, a service like new cable or telephone, or even new employment will be able to see the personal statement that you include in your credit report.
The problem is that you cannot be sure which of the three credit reports the other party will view. So, it is imperative to file personal statements with the other two credit bureaus as well.
Act Fast And Write A Letter Explaining Bad Credit
You need to act fast if you are going to add a personal statement to your credit report. You may not have time to do so if you are close to receiving a job interview or a job offer.
If your future employer has already pulled your credit score, you may have to talk to them about it instead of writing the personal statement. You may want to find a way to mention your credit history and your mitigating factors for your bad credit at some point during the interview when it makes sense. You should definitely come clean about your errors especially if they are the first to bring it up in conversation.
You are more than just a number on a sheet of paper. There are reasons why your credit is the score that your credit report represents.
Too often, we do not get a chance to tell bankers, credit card companies, lenders, and employers why we are better than what the sheets of paper that makeup of credit score say about us. Writing a 100-word personal statement to the three credit bureaus may be the voice and letter explaining bad credit that you need in your corner.
Past Readers’ Questions:
- Is It Better To Save For Closing Costs Or Pay Down Loan?
- Is A $1,000 Emergency Fund Enough To Start?
- How To Prioritize Which Bills To Pay First
- Should You Put Your Emergency Fund In Mutual Funds?
- How Do You Start Saving If You Live Paycheck To Paycheck?
- How To Find A Payment Plan Without Cutting Necessities
- Is My Money Save In A Bank?
- What To Invest In After The Company Match
Do you have a money question that you would like to ask? Email me your money, investing, retirement, savings, or other question to Questions[at]MoneyQandA.com. If I pick your question for the next article in the series, I’ll send you a free copy of Dave Ramsey’s book, The Total Money Makeover, or you can pick from any of these other free books instead.