The process started in January. I had begun interviewing for a position at a local bank branch that I had done personal business with for five years. I had multiple products with the branch, and when I opened my first bank account at age 16, it was here. After a lengthy three-month-long interview process across multiple branches and different positions, I got a call.

I was ecstatic. I had received my first-ever full-time job offer, and it was from a company that I had wanted to work with for years. Everything was going well — my job interviews were amazing, and everyone that I had met seemed to genuinely enjoy their work. I was excited to get started.

Trying to Get a Job With Bad Credit

I knew there was some pre-hire stuff to take care of, but nothing that I thought would interfere with the job offer. There were the typical tax forms, NDAs, and background and credit checks. I knew my background was clean, but the credit check scared me a bit. I knew I had bad credit, but I also thought that the check might just be a formality. Maybe it wouldn’t actually matter. Maybe they just wanted to make sure I didn’t have any bankruptcies or public records. Boy, was I wrong.

I received a call one day, a week or two after officially accepting the offer. A nice corporate woman from HR asked to speak with me. I obliged, and was taken through one of the worst experiences I can recall: a full breakdown of my credit history. Line by line, the woman read to me every account on my credit report, what the balance was, and asked if I had paid on it. For every account, the answer was no.

I could feel the job slipping from my fingers with each line of the credit report that she read off to me. But I didn’t lose all hope.

I was given a chance to share my reasoning as to why I hadn’t been able to pay on any of my balances owed. I provided a letter stating my hardships, attached evidence backing up my claims, and sent it in.

A week and a half later, I got the call I had been dreading: the decision. After a lengthy review process, the the bank had decided to rescind my offer. I was told that I could either apply for a position that didn’t require credit verification or wait six months and try again for this one.

The Road to Recovery

For a few hours, I hit what was one of the lowest points I’d experienced in months. I didn’t know where to go from there. I didn’t know what I was going to do or how I was going to be able to pay my increasing bills. I stopped, took a few deep breaths, and decided not to waste any more energy on the issue. I knew I was in the process of rebuilding my credit, and I knew that it was only going to take time. This wasn’t something I could fix overnight. It was something I would have to work on and try again.

Over the next few months, I will continue reaching out to creditors to negotiate balances in an attempt to reduce my overall debt load and improve my credit score. I do plan on re-applying for that job in six months' time, but I'm not sure that it will be enough time for my credit to fully recover. In that time, the least I can do is establish a positive payment history going forward and show progress on old accounts. Any positive progress at all is something that I can use to my advantage during the reapplication process. Hopefully that will increase my chances of landing that position . . . again.