Can My Employer Check My Score?

Yes and No…

The potential employer must get your consent before checking your credit report.  The Credit Bureaus do not share your credit score with them but, a variation of your report showing what risk you represent.  They cannot see what a lending institution would see.

Below are the states that have laws on the books prohibiting


California                                                Maryland
Colorado                                                 Nevada
Connecticut                                            Oregon
Delaware                                                 Vermont
Hawaii                                                     Washington


Some employers use your credit report to assess their risk in hiring you .  A history of negative public records or other derogatory marks could indicate to employers an applicant has a record of untrustworthiness and unsavory behavior.  Especially if you are applying to the fields of government or medical work or for jobs in accounting and financial matters, these hold a great deal of responsibility.

Does Divorce Affect Your Credit?

Going from a two-income household down to one, it can be a rough transition for most people. Many divorced people find their credit in shambles in the months and years after their divorce is final.  It is great when one spouse can buy the other out of a mortgage. However this is not always reality. So now one person who no longer lives in the house but, has their name still attached to the deed has to hope and pray the other spouse pays the mortgage on time.  If not, it WILL affect both of your scores adversely.

Bottom line                                                                                                                                                                                                 You will want to work to minimize its negative impact on your credit. Make sure joint bills are being paid one way or another, stretch your budget to ensure your personal bills are being paid consistently on –time, and remove your spouse from your accounts, wherever possible. You can even put a freeze on your credit so, that a vindictive spouse who knows your social security number doesn’t open new accounts for their use.

Most importantly, staying civil means one or both spouses are less likely to try and trash your credit.

Will getting laid off / fired from my job hurt my credit?

Because only employment information usually lags behind in being updated, it will not show up immediately. Plus, whoever was your last employer will most likely stay listed.  Credit reports don’t care WHO employs you or IF you are employed.  They care about IF you are paying your bills on time.  As long as you can keep up, you should not see anything averse on your credit.  At the very least while you job-hunt, make sure to pay the minimum due in order to save dollars and stay current with your credit responsibilities.

Getting married doesn’t hurt your credit

Getting married doesn’t hurt your credit…unless your spouse-to-be hasn’t been honest about their creditworthiness.

Unless you are on the same accounts, you do not immediately help or hurt one another’s scores by getting married.  Your credit score is unique to you.  It can hurt when one person has good credit and the other not so much, especially when applying for a mortgage.

You may make more money than your spouse and can carry the mortgage alone.  Lenders care about credit scores.  If your spouse has great credit but can’t afford the house alone, it does them no good by having you on the loan.  Lenders take into both credit histories into account.  You may pay more interest for the person with bad credit or be turned down all together.

Helping lift one another to better financial health is a possibility.  By adding the person with little or bad credit on to an pre-existing good account (no late payments), you help the entire credit history and open source of credit  by adding them as an authorized user.

Marriage is for better or for worse…don’t let little or bad credit history start your journey on the wrong footing. Work your partnership for the betterment of you both as a whole.

Horror Stories of Debt Collectors: What They Can and Can’t Do to You

Under the Fair Debt Collections Practices Act, collectors are prohibited from threatening violence, using profane language, calling incessantly, inflating debt and implying they are attorneys or law firms.  They can’t arrest you,  garnish your wages or properties; unless they actually plan to take action through a court order.

Here were some outrageous allegations of debt collection abuse:

  • Threatening to take away your children
  • Posing as a law firm and acting as if they have legal rights over you.
  • Threatening to dig up dead bodies for failure to pay funeral bill.
  • Promising to hurt family pets.
  • Collecting Debts owed to other companies.

When dealing with collection calls, know your rights.

You can negotiate when you know you legitimately owe the company.  The agencies usually buy bad debt for pennies on the dollar.  This means if you can write a check today for the amount you negotiate. You can start your negotiations at 30 cents for every dollar owed. So you can ask them to take a check for $300 when they say you owe $1,000.  If you need to make payments, they will get you for a higher percentage.  Make the deal, if you can.

Do NOT negotiate on debts that are older than 2 years old. The reason being is whatever amount you pay the collector will hit your credit report with today’s date.  This essentially updates the debt from 2 years ago ( when it was starting to be less important) to today’s date and can drop your score 50-60 points.

Never settle debts with accounts more than 4 years old in Pennsylvania.  Because you opened up the statute of limitations on yourself, they can come after you for the next four years in Pennsylvania (differs from state to state).  This debt is still owed but not legally collectable.  Meaning a district magistrate would not hear a case from a credit card company with debt from you when it is older than 4 years.

Plus if you settle a debt of any amount, the collection agency can sell the remaining amount of debt to another collector. Then that new collector will be calling you for the next 4 years.