PDA

View Full Version : How important is credit when trying to be a LEO?


locosway
07-24-2009, 5:43 PM
Since the economy downturn I've had a hard time keeping my credit clean. At one time I had a good score, and I was really top notch on keeping everything up to date. Now I have some credit cards I let slide, but I did pay off one of my cars and I purchased another car which I'm still making payments on.

I know most OC places care, but I heard LAPD and LASD are way more lenient with such things.

Baxter
07-24-2009, 5:59 PM
I was told by sdpd that the score isn't the most important, it is if you have past due or accounts in collections that you are not paying. That shows lack of integrity. So maybe work something out with your creditors and keep paying the minimum.

yzernie
07-24-2009, 6:10 PM
A couple years ago when my wife worked in backgrounds having poor credit was the #1 disqualifier. It showed a lack of responsibility and integrity. I will say tho...that was when the economy was good. Not sure how they are viewing those things now that the economy is bad. I know they do show some compassion but I don't know where they draw the line. A close 2nd was truthfulness and many times people will lie about thier credit and when they are doing the background and find out they were not told the truth it's immediately a disqualification letter.

locosway
07-24-2009, 6:14 PM
I have many many friends who're in LE and they've all shared their interviews with me. I know about being truthful, and all the odd or weird questions they can ask to see if you're truthful. I'm not ashamed of my credit, it's just another chapter in my life that will eventually need to be worked out. At this time I can't, I'm on unemployment and just scrapping by.

I do plan on cleaning up my credit when I get another job. I was planning on going back to school, but now I'm not so sure. 4-6 years is a long time, especially since my wife doesn't work and we would need to rely on family and me hopefully carrying a PT job on the weekends.

yzernie
07-24-2009, 6:19 PM
I can say this with 100% certainty...having fallen on tough times and having a couple credit issues is WAY better than a BK on your credit. Stay strong and positive and good things will come your way.

Ron-Solo
07-24-2009, 8:43 PM
Avoid BK at all costs. Being able to explain reasons for poor credit is critical. Making arrangements with creditors shows more responsibility than ignoring the bills.

tyrist
07-24-2009, 9:28 PM
It is very important you not be in financial hardship. It is just another indicator of a well managed life with mature and responsible decisions being made.

locosway
07-24-2009, 9:31 PM
It is very important you not be in financial hardship. It is just another indicator of a well managed life with mature and responsible decisions being made.

I beg to differ on that comment, but in general I can see how credit can affect the decision.

Well, thanks for the advice. I'm getting older and with the issues I've had with my credit I may just let the opportunity pass and do something else.

retired
07-24-2009, 10:20 PM
I'm not speaking for tyrist of course, but I believe he is expressing what the view of a dept. would be. He'll correct me if I'm wrong.:)

As far as your statement about letting the opportunity pass; why. If you do, you will always wonder, "what if." Why not call and speak with some backround investigators from a few depts. and tell them your situation. Ask them if they believe it would be worthwhile for you to even apply being in your situation. You might be surprised at what you hear.

I know this is a trite cliche, but, "nothing ventured, nothing gained."

Good luck.

alex00
07-24-2009, 10:54 PM
I had terrible credit when I got hired with my department. I was fresh out of college, and my ex-wife and I ran up our cards. I had three cards at the time with several 90-120 day past dues. When I applied everything was paid off, and I explained the truth behind the past dues. Some departments place a higher weight on credit than others. I think most departments agree that poor credit is a reflection of the candidates responsibility. I would not give up, and you may be surprised by a department's reaction to your credit history.

yzernie
07-25-2009, 11:23 AM
Departments, even though the budgets are tight right now, have difficulty finding good qualified candidates. I'm willing to bet if everything else in your past is ok, the willingness of a dept to place less importance on a couple dings on your credit is very possible. The rate of applications to make to being hired on my dept is down to a frightening 10%.

locosway
07-25-2009, 12:41 PM
I did pass backgrounds for interim security clearance for the US Treasury Department for my last job. My past has nothing in it, I've worked security for a few years for a very respectable company in Irvine and I've been a Linux Administrator other than that.

I want to change careers and short of going to school for 6 or more years I think a LEO job would be ideal.

5150Marcelo
07-25-2009, 12:44 PM
If you have bad credit, it shows more that you are likely to be tempted. Thats the main reason why they and alot of other LE angencies check credit. Its easier to let someone come along and offer to clear your debts in exchange for something.

tyrist
07-25-2009, 12:49 PM
I'm not speaking for tyrist of course, but I believe he is expressing what the view of a dept. would be. He'll correct me if I'm wrong.:)

As far as your statement about letting the opportunity pass; why. If you do, you will always wonder, "what if." Why not call and speak with some backround investigators from a few depts. and tell them your situation. Ask them if they believe it would be worthwhile for you to even apply being in your situation. You might be surprised at what you hear.

I know this is a trite cliche, but, "nothing ventured, nothing gained."

Good luck.

You are correct. Like everything during background a poor credit history could be explained.

johnthomas
07-25-2009, 12:58 PM
On the background they check everything. If they have 2 people for the same job bad credit could be the factor that breaks the tie. All you can do is try to make it good. Do not get discouraged, if it screws you up this time, it could be an asset next time if you clean it up. Times are hard right now, it is understandable. In the meantime, make yourself valuable, get as much training and education you can in that field. Remember, we are all only one late payment away from bad credit.

yzernie
07-25-2009, 1:22 PM
If you have bad credit, it shows more that you are likely to be tempted. Thats the main reason why they and alot of other LE angencies check credit. Its easier to let someone come along and offer to clear your debts in exchange for something.
Not sure I understand this sentence. Are you talking about one of those companies that help you get your bebt cleared up?

5150Marcelo
07-25-2009, 1:27 PM
Not sure I understand this sentence. Are you talking about one of those companies that help you get your bebt cleared up?

No, I mean as in bribes. If you are in debt/bad credit, you are more tempted to except a bribe (as in a payoff).

This was explained to me at a recent testing for a certain agency I was at a few weeks ago. Someone in the room asked why credit matters. Another person suggested that it would show responsibility and integrity. That was also a factor, but the main one was because the person maybe more tempted by bribes to get out of the negative.

locosway
07-25-2009, 5:00 PM
If you have bad credit, it shows more that you are likely to be tempted. Thats the main reason why they and alot of other LE angencies check credit. Its easier to let someone come along and offer to clear your debts in exchange for something.

So I've heard, but I don't agree with it.

That's almost like saying someone who owns a gun might be tempted to shoot people.

The only thing I ever stole was a match book from a grocery store when I was like 4 or 5 and I was so scared I told my Grandfather right away.