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Could anyone say if it is like that an offer will be rescinded for a small (~300) paid collection on your credit report for a job in financial services?

I received an offer when I interned for them and the plan was to join them in a few months. The credit issue popped after they had made an offer. So I am not sure about what to do now. Should I contact HR even before they send me the paper work for the back ground check or should I wait until they send it to me and let them know then.

  • ok, thanks, but given everything else was clean, is it likely? I have otherwise stellar credit except for this unfortunate dental bill which popped up after 6 years. – user10487 Sep 10 '13 at 16:51
  • For a student to have ended up short on a $300 amount due which was fixed as quickly as possible isn't, by itself, going to bother an employer. If you had run up $3000 in credit card bills and made no effort to keep up they would view it differently. – Meredith Poor Sep 10 '13 at 18:04
  • yes, I agree, it is for a financial services job and therefore I am concerned. I did have a clean credit report with a very good score until this event and passed their credit check when I interned there. The $300 was due to misplaced/unreceived dental bills when I was moving from one city to another. – user10487 Sep 11 '13 at 2:42
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Can your offer be rescinded? Absolutely.

Is it likely that your offer will be rescinded? Not particularly, no. If the company has gone through a long interview process, determined that you're the best candidate for the job, extended an offer, negotiated a salary, started the process behind the scenes of getting you set up in all of their systems, etc. they're not likely to rescind the offer based on a small mistake. Of course, you might be unlucky and this mistake might disqualify you for this company or this position or this manager. Details like how long ago the collection was, what impact it has on your credit score, whether there are tons of other equally good candidates in line, whether the company invested a lot of time in interviewing you already or whether they're hiring a bunch of commission-only salespeople with the expectation that some will do well and some will get let go rather quickly will all play a role.

You would have been better served telling the employer earlier in the process about any negative information on your credit report given that you knew they would need to pull it as part of your background check. Not only does that give you the opportunity to explain the issue, that allows the hiring manager to tell you whether that would be an issue for the particular company and the particular position you're applying for. And it allows the hiring manager to diffuse the impact when the background check actually happens. Politically and psychologically, knowing in advance that there is a small issue is much easier to take than being surprised at the 11th hour.

If you haven't even completed the paperwork for the background check yet and you have a relationship with the hiring manager from your time as an intern, I'd drop him or her an email. Let the hiring manager know that you just became aware of an issue that's likely going to show up on your background check when they pull your credit. Give a brief explanation of the issue. Then you can ask the hiring manager whether you need to do anything special as part of filling out the background check paperwork in order to ensure that this doesn't become an issue. Most likely, the hiring manager will tell you not to worry about it. If it is something that is going to cause a problem in HR, though, the hiring manager can help you work through it.

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    Thank you so much, I received an offer when I interned for them and the plan was to join them in a few months. The credit issue popped after they had made an offer. So I am not sure about what to do now. Should I contact HR even before they send me the paper work for the back ground check or should I wait until they send it to me and let them know then. – user10487 Sep 10 '13 at 17:22
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    @user10487 - Expanded my answer. – Justin Cave Sep 10 '13 at 17:28
  • Thank you for your advice, I was told by the agency that my reports should update in the next 30 days to show that I have paid the bill. I also have a receipt from the collection agency saying that I paid the bill. I will contact the HR and the hiring manager in 30 days. I expect my background check will start a bit after that. Do you think this makes sense? – user10487 Sep 10 '13 at 17:33
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    That seems reasonable if the background check won't even start in the next month. Personally, I'd prefer to work directly with the manager initially, assuming you have an existing relationship, rather than HR. If there is an issue, the hiring manager is much more likely to be the one fighting for you against HR than the reverse. And your manager presumably knows how best to approach HR if it is likely to be an issue. – Justin Cave Sep 10 '13 at 17:41
  • thank you for your input, I had a perfect credit report and a good score until this got reported and have no other loans or anything of that sort. My utilization is less than 10%. So I do hope this will not impact me, but given this is a job in a financial services in the front office, you can never tell. I also think I did leave a good impression with them and hope that plays a role too along with my previous achievements. – user10487 Sep 11 '13 at 2:35

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