Blog

 
     

Keeping Your Credit Score Safe During Pandemic Pressures

By Michael Klazema on 5/28/2020

With record unemployment numbers, tens of millions of workers are now without regular access to a paycheck. As some states struggle to process unemployment claims and bills pile up, concerns grow about the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on individual credit scores. How can you protect the credit record that you've worked hard to develop? Will employers view credit issues with a balanced perspective?

Negotiate Before Missing Payments

Individuals struggling to make their payment obligations aren't alone—many others are trying to cope with the same financial burdens. With widespread disruption to routines, right now nearly all lenders, from banks to credit card issuers, will work with their customers to make alternative arrangements. 

Contact your lender and let them know that the situation has made it challenging for you to pay your bills. Ask about the options that you may have. Some lenders may allow for partial payments, while others may offer a temporary pause or forbearance. Each solution provides temporary relief.

Know Your Rights Under the CARES Act

The legislation passed to a coordinate coronavirus response includes language that protects borrowers from actions that could hurt their credit scores. For example, if you agree to alter your usual payment plan, your lender must tell the credit bureaus that you are fully up-to-date so long as you continue to comply. If you arrange to bring a delinquent account current, they must report your status as "current." 

If your lender does not follow through, report them to the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.

Pull Your Free Credit Report and Know Your Status

Following up to see how all these changes impact your credit rating requires pulling your credit report. All individuals may request a free report once each from the three major tracking bureaus, but your bank or financial institution may also provide a simple method for checking your score. Take advantage of these tools to track changes and act if your score declines when you know it should not.

What Should Businesses Consider?

The personal financial impact of the COVID-19 pandemic is something that should factor into hiring decisions made by all kinds of businesses. Companies reliant on credit checks such as those offered by backgroundchecks.com may notice an uptick in concerning reports. 

Even when they must ensure suitability for positions involving money or sensitive personal information, viewing recent dings through the lens of the COVID-19 pandemic is a wise and fair decision for employers. Business should consider starting a discussion with an applicant to better learn about the reasons behind any adverse reports.

With long-lasting effects likely to unfold over years rather than months, the fallout from COVID-19 will impact many lives. From taking steps to stay in control of credit as a consumer to making appropriate considerations as an employer, there are many challenges ahead, but with the right perspective and a plan, you can meet them.


Tag Cloud
Categories
Recent Posts

Latest News

  • July 08 COVID-19 has had a primarily negative impact on the job market, leaving 14 million Americans unemployed at the worst point in the pandemic. However, the pandemic did create some job opportunities of its own.
  • July 02 With millions out of work and a job market that looks very different, landing a job is harder than ever for many. We share helpful tips for finding employment during the pandemic.
  • July 01 COVID-19 and the resulting work-from-home trend could change work and hiring forever. Here’s what to expect going forward.
  • June 30

    The latest technical assistance publication issued by the EEOC concerns return-to-work approaches in the wake of COVID-19 and how those strategies may impact compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act, the Rehabilitation Act, and other equal employment opportunity laws.

  • June 25 The economy has shed millions of jobs during the pandemic, and questions about recovery remain. Will employers need to adjust their standards during rehiring?
  • June 24 Pitney Bowes has been a leading innovator in the postage and mail industry for more than a century. Read about the company’s history, employee background checks, and COVID-19 response.
  • June 23 Social media background checks have become more common during COVID-19 for a variety of reasons. Here’s what employers need to know about the popularity increase of these background checks.
  • June 23

    For employee background screenings or tenant background checks, investing in reputable checks from quality providers is a must. Learn about the pitfalls of cheap, automated background screenings. 

     

  • June 18 Although COVID-19 accelerated the push to work from home, the WFH movement was already underway. As more businesses turn to remote workers, how should their hiring policies change?
  • June 16 Background checks were delayed due to court and business closures during the early part of the COVID-19 pandemic. What should employers expect now?