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  • bad credit question

    How much does credit weigh when it comes to becoming a police officer? Do they automatically discount your application or is it run later in the process? If they do run it later in the process how much does credit account for when being accepted or denied? What do they view as being worse a recent bankruptcy or a poor credit history?

  • #2
    i was turned down for an agency from what i suspect was my credit score. my background investigator, who could not officially state that it was indeed the reason i would be disqualified, he told me MORE THAN LIKELY i would be disqualified by the board because of my score.. everything else was what they were lookign for in an applicant.

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    • #3
      some agencies dont have a score preferance per say- they just want to make sure your not in dept by a certain percentage of what they are paying you- a ratio number more then a certain 300-900 score.
      Status: Online 26% of the time
      Updated on: 12/28/09

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      • #4
        I've heard they also use it to gauge your personal responsibility. I belive my credit was a factor for me recently when I applied with another agency, even though they gave me a different b.s. story.
        "The world is a dangerous place; not because of those who do evil, but because of the good men that do nothing."
        -A. Einstein

        “As a man thinks in his heart, so he is.”
        -(Proverbs 23:7)

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        • #5
          My understanding is there is a difference between a low credit score and "bad credit". If you have bills that are in collections, that may be a problem. If the bills are for certain things, like unexpected major medical bills, I think that is unlikely to hurt you. If you have other bills, such as credit cards, in collections, I suspect that will hurt more.

          It is important to remember that you will be competing with alot of people for a limited number of positions. It is not so much a factor of being disqualified as it is a matter of the department deciding they have "other more qualified applicants". Many, or most, departments get alot more applicants than they have positions. Frequently it is minor details that make a department chose one applicant over another. Credit is one easy way for an agency to whittle down the number of applicants.

          The best plan is to address credit issues before applying. In some circumstances a recent bankruptcy may be explainable and you still get through the process, but it will be hard and you will probably have to explain it in detail. Another thing to remember is that at least initially, you may have a hard time making ends meet and still addressing credit issues on a cop's starting salary.

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          • #6
            what is considered bad credit? 500 and below? The average is 640 i think so would it be anything below?

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            • #7
              Bad Credit

              I have to paint with a pretty broad brush here. Many agencies view how you handle credit as an overall gauge of personal responsibility. Some departments are stricter than others. What is really important, is how you are currently handling your debts. Certainly, any account or bill that has been referred to collections isn't going to look too good.

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              • #8
                Depends on the agency......as I have noted some that really hard core about it...while others just want to make sure you are paying your bills on-time so they aren't getting phone calls.

                Best advice is to pay your bills on time and don't over extend yourself.....and you should be fine....

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                • #9
                  If you have never used credit, not had a credit card or a mortgage, paid cash for your car, etc., you will have a low credit score because you do not have a credit history. With most agencies, this should not be a problem.

                  If you have unpaid bills, debts in collection, etc., this is likely to be a problem.

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                  • #10
                    Mostly what is looked at is bankruptcies, foreclosures and collections.

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