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  • Bad Credit Application Chances

    Hey all,

    First, thank you for taking the time to read this. Have done some searching, but haven't found an exact scenario. I applied to San Jose PD in 2017 and was disqualified on the PHQ for credit history (also had a couple of speeding tickets from 2005-2016, but don't think those were disqualifying). I've never declared bankruptcy, but at the time had 4 accounts in collections and was late on a few other accounts. I'm now caught up on everything for the last year except one big account in collections still. Would I be wasting my time applying again now, or should I try again? The big account still in collections is going to take quite awhile still to come off, but thinking that it's just one now instead of 4 may make a difference? I know a bit vague, but anyone have any kind of the same experience and get selected?

  • #2
    A credit history as you describe will be a tough thing to overcome. One of those things that may not be a completely disqualifying factor, but one that will certainly weigh against you when compared with other applicants in the hiring pool.

    Not everything is pass or fail. Those who pass the initial review will always be compared against all others under consideration, and those with negative aspects may be bypassed in favor of those without such histories.

    Probably not what you want to hear, but after doing a few hundred background investigations I can predict what to expect. Beyond the basics of criminal history, educational credentials, and a few other criteria, everything is about who stands out above the crowd. This basic truth will stand unless you are applying to an agency with a political agenda to meet, such as how many females or minorities or red-headed orphans are required to achieve a specific goal, or unless your cousin's uncle chairs the civil service commission.

    Comment


    • #3
      Straight from the POST manual:

      "Although an important area of investigation, the evaluation of a candidate’s behavior regarding the handling of finances must be careful and judicious. In some instances, outwardly negative information may involve legal rights and even factors that are completely outside of the candidate’s control. Financial opportunities can be limited as much by race, gender, marital status, and even geography as by willful acts of the candidate. It is therefore critically important to understand the full circumstances surrounding any apparently negative financial information."

      "In many cases, collection activity and repossessions are indicative of problem behavior. Investigators should take care to assure that the bill in collection is, in fact, the responsibility of the candidate against whose credit it has been reported and that any repossession reported similarly applies to the candidate. Investigators should then inquire as to why the bill had to be turned over to collection or why repossession was necessary."


      There are 10 Job Dimensions for which an applicant can be disqualified. Unfortunately, most agencies (SJPD included) provide very little (no) insight into why any given applicant may have been disqualified. Your issue falls under #5 "Confronting and Overcoming Problems, Obstacles, and Adversity" and is described as:

      This involves willingness and persistence in confronting problems and personal adversity. It includes taking control of situations, as necessary and demonstrating hustle and drive in reaching goals.
      • Multiple personal bankruptcies, having current financial obligations for which legal obligations have not been satisfied; or any other flagrant history of financial instability
      • Allows debts to mount; evades creditors, collection agencies, etc.
      • Past due accounts, discharged debts, late payments, collection accounts, civiljudgments, and/or bankruptcy
      • Fails to meet obligations (for example, auto insurance, auto registration, selective service registration, IRS requirements, child support obligations)
      • Fails to exercise fiscal responsibility commensurate with income

      Now if you've paid off three accounts and the fourth you've made steady progress on, that would show you have grown and learned from your past mistakes. This, of course, is all with the consideration that you don't have anything else that raises judgment or responsibility concerns.

      I'm not here to recruit you, but if you want as transparent of a process that exists, consider throwing your application in with the CHP. We make sure applicants have zero questions about the outcome of their background investigation regardless if they're walking out with a DQ or headed to the academy.
      Last edited by GGD_CHP; 03-25-2020, 01:52 AM.

      Comment


      • JD2183
        JD2183 commented
        Editing a comment
        Thank you for all of that information, very helpful! The background of the one account is that it was a predatory loan while I was in the military, I was young and dumb and couldn't afford it, so stopped paying on it for years. I've been in negotiations with them to settle and making progress there, but the amount is still pretty large and will take some time to have a $0 balance. But as I said previously my other credit issues have since been resolved and (besides two speeding tickets over the last 15 years) I don't have anything else questionable. 15 year military career, a couple of college degrees, no history of drug use or criminal background. I won't apply to SJPD again as I've moved a bit farther out since 2017, but I did just apply to Fremont PD and am thinking of Contra Costa Sheriff as well.

        In regard to CHP, I've always thought of it but never considered because I'm afraid I would be assigned to somewhere in Southern CA or something like that and I can't relocate due to wife's job.

    • #4
      @JD2183 Give Golden Gate Division recruitment a call. The CHP academy regularly sends more cadets to the Bay Area than to LA. Additionally, where you get assigned is solely predicated based upon how well you do at the academy.

      Call recruitment at (707) 917-4366
      Last edited by GGD_CHP; 03-26-2020, 04:58 PM.

      Comment


      • #5
        If you don't get on now, and you really want it, keep getting your house in order, lay off the lead foot and in a couple of years you can probably get hired. Good luck.

        Comment


        • #6
          Originally posted by JD2183 View Post
          Hey all,

          First, thank you for taking the time to read this. Have done some searching, but haven't found an exact scenario. I applied to San Jose PD in 2017 and was disqualified on the PHQ for credit history (also had a couple of speeding tickets from 2005-2016, but don't think those were disqualifying). I've never declared bankruptcy, but at the time had 4 accounts in collections and was late on a few other accounts. I'm now caught up on everything for the last year except one big account in collections still. Would I be wasting my time applying again now, or should I try again? The big account still in collections is going to take quite awhile still to come off, but thinking that it's just one now instead of 4 may make a difference? I know a bit vague, but anyone have any kind of the same experience and get selected?
          The question is why.

          We had applicants during the recession that lost their jobs, ended up in foreclosure, etc. We still hired them.

          In contrast to the applicants who were making minimum wage and got adjustable rate mortgages on a $850,000 house and another $200,000 HELOC to buy a boat and new F350 and defaulted when their payments went up to like $8000/mo. We didn't hire them.
          Other officer: Oh that's right, I forgot, you're God's gift to police work.
          Me: At least someone recognizes it.

          Turns out basic police work isn't so hard, you just have to leave the station.

          Comment


          • Gerald2121
            Gerald2121 commented
            Editing a comment
            I have a large car loan(i was a dumb Marine) and poor credit ( i was a dumb Marine with a girlfriend who i paid for everything (I don't do that anymore and i am single)). And 2 credit cards I'm paying off. But i have 2 jobs, literally Working everyday and hope to pay off all my credit cars in under a year. Do you think i could get hired if I apply to police departments in California after paying off my credit cards? I'll still have my car loan but I expect to pay it off in a couple years. But my credit score should be alot better.

        • #7
          I was worried about the same thing. I have a voluntary repossession a bankruptcy and few things in collections. I know my credit history is the best but I'm working to take care of things. I feel as long as I'm showing effort to get a better credit history I should be good. I'll be honest about everything.

          Comment


          • #8
            So great news is I was approved for a significant settlement on the big account, so I no longer have any accounts in collections and have less than $4k in overall debt now, all payments good for the last 12 months. I have a the PelletB/agility test with Contra Costa County Sheriff dept in 11 days, and Fremont PD PHQ at beginning of June. Hopefully will be good to go through this time :fingers crossed:

            Comment


            • Iamkre8
              Iamkre8 commented
              Editing a comment
              Good luck man keep us posted on how things go

          • #9
            Update: All of my credit issues are cleaned up and it's now been 5 years since my last speeding ticket. I was going to start the application process in June, but life got in the way (plus all the riots over the summer, didn't think it was a good time to start). Looking to start up the application process again here shortly. Thanks for all the feedback here!

            Comment


            • AvidHiker98
              AvidHiker98 commented
              Editing a comment
              Good luck!

          • #10
            Originally posted by JD2183 View Post
            So great news is I was approved for a significant settlement on the big account...
            So does that mean that a settlement was negotiated for less money than you originally owed?

            That's a write-off, and that's not a good thing.

            Comment


            • JD2183
              JD2183 commented
              Editing a comment
              The negotiated settlement was just to get the collection off my credit report. I have since paid the entire owed amount, so wouldn't think that would be an issue.

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