Get the credit and the career you deserve

Nearly half of all U.S. employers consider a good credit rating an important qualification when considering new hire candidates, according to a 2012 study by the Society for Human Resource Management. With credit history and scores becoming more and more important to employers, it pays to understand your credit report and the steps needed to build a good credit rating.

It is becoming increasingly important for those considering a new job or promotion to take prior steps to ensure a good credit rating. We encourage job seekers to speak to a credit report review counselor to learn how to impact their unique credit profile by making better and more informed decisions with every day finances.

In addition, the following are the four most important steps toward better credit:

  1. Know your score. Being aware of your score and the elements that make up the score offers a good starting point for making improvements. FICO scores are established using the following:
    • Payment History (35%) – Making payments on time and as agreed has the biggest impact on your credit score.
    • Balance owed (30%) – The closer you are to your credit line, the more likely you are to have issues paying it off.
    • Length of credit history (15%) - Credit worthiness can only be determined after there is sufficient time managing credit accounts. The longer you’ve paid account on-time and as agreed, the better.
    • New credit (10%) – Applying for credit just to get the free gift is not a smart practice. New credit just adds the potential of having more than you can afford. Don’t apply for a credit account unless you intentions on using it.
    • Types of credit (10%) – Having a good credit mix is important. Consider all types of credit including revolving accounts, installment loans, and lines of credit.
  2. Pay your bills on time. Your payment history accounts for 30% of your FICO score. Paying your bills on time and as agreed is the best thing you can do to maintain a good credit history.
  3. Fix errors. Don’t pay for someone else’s mistakes. By visiting, you can access one free credit report each year from each of the three major credit bureaus. Check your reports carefully for accuracy and report any mistakes.
  4. Pay down debt. Know your limits and keep your balances at least 25% below them. Credit scores take into account the proportion of credit used.

To schedule an appointment to speak with a credit report review counselor, call 888.942.9723.

Tanisha (Warner) Smith is a former communications manager at MMI.

  • The Consumer Federation of America (CFA) is an association of nonprofit consumer organizations that was established in 1968 to advance the consumer interest through research, advocacy, and education. Today, nearly 300 of these groups participate in the federation and govern it through their representatives on the organization's Board of Directors.

  • Since 2007, the Homeownership Preservation Foundation (HPF) has served as a trusted, neutral source of information for more than eight million homeowners. They are partnered with, and endorsed by, numerous major government agencies, including the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development and the Department of the Treasury.

  • The mission of the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) is to create strong, sustainable, inclusive communities and quality affordable homes for all. HUD works to strengthen the housing market in order to bolster the economy and protect consumers; meet the need for quality affordable rental homes; utilize housing as a platform for improving quality of life; and build inclusive and sustainable communities free from discrimination.

  • The Council on Accreditation (COA) is an international, independent, nonprofit, human service accrediting organization. Their mission is to partner with human service organizations worldwide to improve service delivery outcomes by developing, applying, and promoting accreditation standards.

  • The National Foundation for Credit Counseling® (NFCC®), founded in 1951, is the nation’s largest and longest-serving nonprofit financial counseling organization. The NFCC’s mission is to promote the national agenda for financially responsible behavior, and build capacity for its members to deliver the highest-quality financial education and counseling services.