I have no credit card, no credit history, and no debt. My resume is not lacking for my life stage (young adult). However, this answer to a personal finance question claims that employers check credit. Will I have difficulty finding a job with no credit history?

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    Should I alter my question to something like "Do jobs in North America require a credit check to the point where I will not be hired if I have no credit history?" @Chad people seem to have understood what I was asking...
    – tM --
    Commented May 8, 2014 at 19:23
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    comments removed: Comments are intended to help improve a post or seek clarification. Please don't answer the questions in the comments. These can't be easily voted on as the best answers, and they may inadvertently prevent other users from providing real answers. Please see How should I post a useful non-answer if it shouldn't be a comment? for more guidance.
    – jmort253
    Commented May 9, 2014 at 1:14
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    Do this question is targeted at specific country, or is general (no country tags)? If general, than at least for Central Europe, no. In some jobs you're expected to bring your crimilar records, but if the companies need you to make it, I doubt they are allowed to do anything like spying on your private life, and checking your credit history is a deep ingerence in your private life. However, you are normally expected to have a bank account because the salary is no longer payed in cash.
    – user1023
    Commented May 9, 2014 at 7:35
  • Shouln't this question be tagged "united-states"? Credit records are not public for individuals in europe at least.
    – Étienne
    Commented May 9, 2014 at 15:08
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    correct. And where semi-public there are strict rules about how they can be used and vetting potential employers is not among the approved purposes (applying for a security clearance might be). Also, the US seems to be the only place where having a loan is considered essential to be a good citizen :)
    – jwenting
    Commented May 13, 2014 at 10:45

4 Answers 4


In most cases the purpose of a credit check is to see if there is evidence of character problems. A thin credit file is not the same as demonstrating an inability to handle credit.

There are some positions where having credit could be important, but that is not the case for most jobs. If you want to get a job working in bank as a loan officer, then not having any experience with credit could be an issue.

In some cases the employer will use your credit file to get a credit card for travel, but that might not be the case for most positions.

Most employers hiring young people expect that you would have a thin file.

  • I would say even if "good" if a young employees credit check read like war and piece I would be concerned it had just not caught up yet. Commented May 8, 2014 at 18:33
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    Seconded the mention of banks. I worked for multiple banks, and credit checks were part of the hiring process. And if you bounced a check during your employment with the company, you got a stern talking to. Commented May 8, 2014 at 18:40
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    And if (unlikely case) anyone references "Hey, we could not find a credit history" just tell the simple truth.
    – user8036
    Commented May 8, 2014 at 18:48
  • so you think having loans is a good qualifier for selling loans to others? I'd rather have someone who knows how to sell things, and understands the financial industry...\
    – jwenting
    Commented May 13, 2014 at 10:46

In the United States, it is unlikely that a lack of credit history will keep you from your first job (or entry-level types of jobs). Not all employers check credit as part of a background check, and when they do, it is not for all levels and types of positions.

In general, employers tend to check credit to verify that you do not have liens against you/bankruptcies/foreclosures (potential sign of irresponsibility or bad judgement), that you aren't using all of the credit you do have or aren't late on your payments (potential sign of bad budgeting) and other reasons that could speak to your financial abilities and/or character as a potential employee.

Unless you're looking to break into banking, finance, accounting, or jobs of that nature, the lack of a credit history isn't likely to harm you whatsoever. If you are looking to work in banking, finance, accounting, or similar industries/positions, you should probably think about establishing a credit history of some sort sooner rather than later, and also just in general you might think about it (but with a less urgent time frame) -- perhaps talk to someone at your local bank or credit union for the best way to go about this for your personal circumstances.

Also, note that you do have a credit history: it says you have no open lines of credit, but (presumably) you also don't have any liens, bankruptcies, foreclosures, student loans, auto loans, or late payments on anything!

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    "also just in general you might think about it" -- So you're saying that OP should take out a loan even though he doesn't need one, just for its own sake?
    – Geier
    Commented May 9, 2014 at 6:48
  • Isn't a credit history with some bad items in there going to hurt that person, even though they aren't at fault for those issues ? Ideally, a company should let a potential employee explain this situation; but in reality, I guess most of them would just discard that person's application. Having some bad stuff on your credit history is a lot of times not an indicative of irresponsibility or lack of judgement. It just means "stuff happens in the real world that you can't control, but it affects you nonetheless". In short: I just don't think it's fair... Commented May 9, 2014 at 6:58
  • Well, banks are giving credits, but if someone takes a credit, it's a signal that he/she has problem managing their personal finances, which isn't a good sign. Another question, how is a company expected to spy on someone's private finances, and in which countries something like that would be legal? The risk of candidate sueing for discriminatory criteria could be quite high.
    – user1023
    Commented May 9, 2014 at 7:40
  • I was always under the impression that credit history was only held against you if it was bad credit, not no credit, but I've never tried to get a finance job either, well, not since before college, and it was the lack of a degree that stopped me then.
    – jmort253
    Commented May 9, 2014 at 14:04
  • @Geier Not necessarily take out a loan, but establish a credit history, yes. Having a credit card that you never use, especially if there's no fee to have it, goes a long way toward establishing credit.
    – jcmeloni
    Commented May 9, 2014 at 14:05

The answer you've cited doesn't cite any resources, and the question is tagged [united-states], so it's validity doesn't mean it's valid somewhere else.

While in third-world countries you can expect companies to do any dirty tricks to pick people who are in weaker position and can be easily blackmailed (having credit for a house is a good reason to fear job loss), in the EU the anti-discrimination laws are quite advanced.

Checking your credit history means not only spying on your private sphere, but also getting some information about your financial status. You know if someone is wealthy or not, does he/she consumes compulsively or is a saver type. It's a dirty thing, because many countries, like the Hungary, have implicitly listed financial status on the list of anti-discriminatory laws, and many others, like Germany, forbids discrimination on "any other ground", not explicitely listed (1)

I wouldn't expect any serious company in EU to spy on your credit history. If you suspect them discriminating you because of lack of excessive expenses, you can sue against them.

  1. http://www.migpolgroup.com/wp_mpg/wp-content/uploads/2013/07/Developing-Anti-Discrimination-Law-in-Europe-2012-EN-.pdf s. 11-13

What you're thinking of 'credit' is credit cards and bank records. If you're renting an apartment, you own a car, and you're paying utility bills you have more on your credit history than you might imagine. Rental history speaks volumes.

If you're living with your parents with no car, no checking account, and a family-plan cell phone, then you're 'off the radar'. If you've been paying bills by check for over a year, you're leaving footprints.

If you have contractual obligations as part of an apartment rental, for example, it's possible to find out your history of late payments. This is as much 'credit' as a credit card. If your employer is checking, your history with property rental will be as important as anything else.

This comes with a caveat. I had someone run a credit report on me when I moved from an apartment to a house. The real estate agent showed me the report, and I realized that the apartment complexes I'd been living in for the last seven years hadn't either checked or reported anything. Your employer (or their reference checking service) would have to call your apartment directly to get status. It's quite likely that, if you've been living in large complexes, they're taking your money for credit checks but not actually running them.

  • Good morning Meredith! By saying that by paying bills for over a year, you're leaving footprints, are you saying that a lack of credit history doesn't harm one's chances of getting a job? One suggestion is to just briefly clarify that. Hope this helps.
    – jmort253
    Commented May 9, 2014 at 14:17

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