The information in your credit report can indicate financial responsibility and personal integrity. A credit report shows your payment history and reveals any judgments against you. In a competitive job market, it isn't uncommon for employers to run a credit check as part of the application process. Employers don't usually base their decision entirely on your credit report, but the information can be a determining factor. Despite the misconceptions, medical debt does count against you. Medical debt on your credit report could be grounds to deny employment.
Right to Pull
What Employers See
How Medical Bills Look
Medical debt on your credit report appears the same as any other debt. If the debt was charged off by the original creditor and sold to a third-party collection agency, it could have a significant impact on your score. Negative entries lower your score and raise red flags with employers, regardless of the circumstances or the nature of the debt. Employers don't always bother digging deep enough to differentiate the medical debt from any other type.
Evaluating the Applicant
Your credit report doesn't tell employers whether or not to hire you. The information revealed in your credit report is available to help employers evaluate the risk associated with hiring. Medical debt doesn't always ruin your chances of employment. Experian even urges employers to give applicants the opportunity to explain such blemishes. When evaluating candidates, the employer may be more inclined to overlook an outstanding medical bill than a past-due credit card balance.
- Society for Human Resource Management: Background Checking — The Use of Credit Background Checks in Hiring Decisions
- Experian: When Employers Check Your Credit
- CNN: Why Do Employers Care About Your Credit?
- Forbes: Has Your Credit Report Cost You a Job?
- Bankrate.com: How Will Unpaid Medical Bills Hurt Credit?
- USA.gov. "Credit Reports and Scores." Accessed June 18, 2020.
- Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. "What Is a Credit Score?" Accessed June 18, 2020.
- Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. "Check Your Credit Report at Least Once a Year." Accessed June 18, 2020.
- My FICO. "What's In Your Credit Report?" Accessed June 18, 2020.
- TransUnion. "Do You Know That There Are Three Credit Reporting Agencies?" Accessed June 18, 2020.
- TransUnion. "How Long Does it Take for a Credit Report to Update?" Accessed June 18, 2020.
- TransUnion. Public Records. Accessed June 18, 2020.
- Experian. "Can Utility Bills Appear on Your Credit Report?" Accessed June 18, 2020.
- Experian. "Can Medical Bills Hurt Your Credit?" Accessed June 25, 2020.
- Federal Trade Commission. "Credit Reports Now Free, Every Week." Accessed June 25, 2020.
Jeannine Mancini, a Florida native, has been writing business and personal finance articles since 2003. Her articles have been published in the Florida Today and Orlando Sentinel. She earned a Bachelor of Science in Interdisciplinary Studies from the University of Central Florida.