I almost missed out on my dream job because of $400 in medical debt. After receiving a job offer, I agreed to undergo a credit check as part of a routine background investigation.
My credit report showed two debts from visits to urgent care centers. When my mom lost her job, I was unable to afford health insurance for two and a half years — pushing me into medical debt.
I never imagined that my debts would affect my job prospects. But the hiring manager told me I had to show that the debts had been paid or removed from my credit report before they could move forward with my approval.
The federal Fair Credit Reporting Act permits employers to make employment decisions based on the credit history of job applicants. Under the 1970 law, employers must first obtain written permission from job applicants or current employees to conduct a credit check. Employers then must notify job applicants or current employees if they take “adverse action” against them based on their credit report.