Reasons Why a Background Check Could Disqualify You

A background check happens any time one wants to apply for a job or new lease. The check is conducted by either a potential employer or landlord, with the results determining whether you are worthy of being hired for a position or new dwelling. However, a spotty record could put you in jeopardy, if not disqualify you altogether. And you may not even realize some of the factors that could hurt your chances. Below are a few examples of what you may show up on a background check.

Trouble With the Law

If you were ever arrested or in trouble with the law, it could very well prevent you from getting a job. Most applications also ask you to state whether you have any violations other than something traffic-related. However, some jobs, such as making deliveries, require a clean driving record, so even a speeding ticket, or numerous tickets within a certain time frame could look bad for your chances.

Low Credit Scores

Your credit score is a three-digit number that measures your history of making payments. The more on-time payments you make, the higher your score potential. A history of late (“delinquent”) or non-payment can lower that score. If you are working in the financial sector, or want to purchase a house, car, or even obtain a line of credit, that low score can disqualify you.

However, do not despair, you can repair your credit, by making payments, and arrangements with creditors. If you feel like your debts are too much to handle, debt management companies also work to help get you on track. These debt management companies help set up a plan to get your bills paid in a timely manner, thus getting your finances in order, and your credit score on the rise.

If you feel your low score is the result of an error, be prepared to dispute the charges, and have any incorrect activity wiped off your record. This could make the difference between an approval or a denial, so be prepared.

High Debt-to-Income Ratio

Your debt-to-income ratio (DTI) measures the amount of monthly credit (i.e. cards, student loans, car payment), compared to monthly (gross) income. A high DTI usually makes potential lenders uneasy, and they may deny you, or increase the amount of interest, which means a higher monthly payment.

In any case, a background check with any blemishes does not mean you will not get the job or an apartment. However, you may have to explain exactly what happened, and how you made any mistakes.