How to Get a Job When You Have Garnishments

How to Get a Job When You Have Garnishments
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Wage garnishment forces an employer to send a percentage of your paycheck to a debt collector. By law the employer must make payments each pay period until an unpaid debt you're responsible for is resolved. Wage garnishment is time-consuming for employers and it is an embarrassment for employees. Getting a job when you have garnishments is difficult because of the stigma. However, there are ways to manage garnishment and get the job you want.

Negotiate with the debt collector to end the garnishment as you begin to close in on a new job. Remain purposely vague about your job search and do not answer questions about your current employment, if you are employed. The best-case scenario for you is to end the garnishment through a payment plan.

Offer the debt collector a deal. Offer to pay your current balance and an additional five percent in exchange for payments by certified check or money order instead of wage garnishment. Tell the debt collector that garnishment makes life difficult for you as an employee and you would like to find a better solution that works for both parties. Repeat this strategy on all of your garnishment accounts if can afford to.

Mention the garnishments to potential employers only if you are offered a job or receive an offer contingent on passing a background check. Standard background checks sometimes include a credit review, which would show the garnishment. However, there's simply no reason to reveal your credit problems before being offered a job.

Talk to the hiring manager about your garnishments before agreeing to the background check. It is important that you tell the hiring manager about the garnishments before they are spotted on credit reports. Explain what happened to cause the garnishments and how you are working to resolve them through alternate payment plans. Also acknowledge that your efforts at other payment arrangements may not work and the garnishments could continue.

Convince the potential employer that the garnishments are isolated events because of a hardship such as divorce, job loss or illness and that you are working diligently with creditors to repair the damage. Tell the employer that you want the job and that the garnishments will not affect your performance.

Sign paperwork allowing for the background check. Meet with the employer again after the background check to negotiate a formal job offer.


  • It is possible that the employer will not make a formal job offer after the background check and credit review. In this case it is unlikely the employer will provide a specific reason for not extending the offer. Garnishments are obviously a negative when searching for a job, and the only thing you can do is show why you are the best candidate for the job while honestly explaining your past credit problems.