Being bondable means you're eligible for insurance that protects your employer from any crimes of dishonesty you may commit on the job, including theft, forgery, larceny and embezzlement. Many companies want cashiers who are bondable to prevent losses due to cash register theft. Whether your credit affects your bondability depends on your score, although even people with the worst credit histories are eligible for bonding under the Federal Bonding Program.
Check Your Credit Score
Private insurance companies won't cover people with very poor credit histories. Although every insurer sets its own cutoffs, a few missed payments on an otherwise spotless record shouldn't be a problem. However, if you have collection agencies calling you or you've filed for bankruptcy, chances are that insurance companies will declare you "not bondable." Review your own credit history to see what potential employers see when they run a background check on you. According to the Federal Trade Commission, you're eligible to receive a free credit report from each of the three major reporting agencies -- Equifax, Experian and TransUnion -- once a year. If your overall score is below 599, you have a "very bad" credit history and should investigate the Federal Bonding Program to expand your employment opportunities.
The Federal Bonding Program
The Federal Bonding Program provides bonding insurance for people who don't qualify for private sector insurance, including those with poor credit histories. The Federal Bonding Program covers high-risk job holders for the first six months of employment. After six incident-free months on the job, you become eligible for bonding through commercial insurance providers. If you're worried about your low credit score affecting your employment prospects, call 1-877-US2-JOBS for information about bonding and job placement assistance.
Although the Federal Bonding Program can make you bondable when you're considered high-risk by private insurers, that doesn't mean your employer of choice will give you a job. Some companies still deny employment based on credit score, reports The Huffington Post. Although this practice is real, it may not be legal in some states. According to a document published by the Association of Corporate Counsel and Dechert LLP, the states of Hawaii, Oregon, Washington and Illinois all had laws against denying employment based on credit score as of February 2011, and other states had laws in the works.
Equal Employment for All Act
Federally, Congress is working on passing a bill -- the Equal Employment for All Act -- to amend the Fair Credit Reporting Act and make it illegal for employers to discriminate during the hiring process based on credit score. With the exception of government jobs and high-level jobs at financial institutions, employers would be barred from using credit history in hiring decisions if the bill passed. Until it does, finding work as a cashier with poor credit may be more difficult, depending on your state and your prospective employer's hiring practices. As of June 2011, the bill was still under committee review.
- The Federal Bonding Program: Highlights of the Federal Bonding Program
- The Federal Bonding Program: Individuals Seeking Bonding
- Federal Trade Commission: Facts for Consumers
- HuffPost Business; Woman Fired from Temp Job for Having Poor Credit; Laura Bassett; October 2010
- Open Congress: H.R.3149 -- Equal Employment for All Act
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