How Ex-Cons, Illegals, and People With Bad Credit Find Jobs

by Shawanda Greene

Rejected stamp

Your employment options are limited if you’re a felon, undocumented worker, or financially irresponsible. If you fall into either or all of these categories, it is possible to find a job.

So, how does a malcontent like yourself convince someone to hire you?

It’s easy, really. Hire yourself.

People Who Don’t Pay Their Bills

I was reminded of this while listening to a Marketplace Money segment, Cover letter, resume…and your credit score? Saran Sholar, a jobless human resources professional, expressed how hard it’s been to find a job in the weak economy. As if that’s not enough, Sholar faced another problem: Bad Credit.

According to a 2010 study prepared by the Society of Human Resource Management, six in ten companies review potential employees’ credit reports before making a hiring decision.

That could mean trouble for the unemployed.

If you don’t have a job, you don’t have money to pay your debts. Without money to pay your debts, you get bad credit. But with bad credit, you can’t get a job. And round and round you go.

Sholar seemed to experience this scenario first hand. She recalled an instance when she was denied a job because of her poor credit history. It’s not clear from the interview whether Sholar was turned down for more than, uh, one job. However, she blamed her financial mistakes for her inability to secure work.

Keep in mind a full four out of ten employers don’t use your credit report to make hiring decisions – AT ALL. You should also know that only 1 in 10 organizations perform credit checks on all employees.

Ultimately, Sholar landed a few hours of work as a human resources consultant, i.e., freelancer.

I’m sure if she hangs in there long enough, someone will give her a job.

People Who Commit Crimes

Now, for my felons. Your march uphill is gonna be a bit steeper.Cartoon burglar

When it comes to criminal background checks, employers are less willing to look the other way.

  • A whopping 73% perform criminal background checks for all candidates.
  • Only 19% review the criminal backgrounds of select candidates.
  • And a minute 7% don’t perform criminal background checks at all.

That means, there’s a strong likelihood you’ll be revealed as the lawless, no do-gooder you are.

Nevertheless, hope lives on.

Many years ago, my cousin’s father left prison after serving five years for sellin’ drugs or somethin’. Instead of begging for a low level job upon release, he made a lucrative decision. He created a job for himself. He now makes over $1,000 per project installing cabinets.

I know another guy who does pretty well for himself as a plumber. He spent 3 years in prison.

As an independent contractor, no one asks if you have bad credit. Or if you attacked a female bus driver during a drunken night in Cleveland.

I’m not saying no one cares, just that no one asks. People only care that you can get the job done right, on time, and at a fair price. That’s it.

If you didn’t steal from or kill the person who referred you, people don’t ask about your past.

Is  it prudent to concern yourself with an independent contractor’s criminal background? You betcha.

But, let’s be honest. Unless they’re managing your assets or caring for your young, you don’t concern yourself with these things.

—-Article continued after advertisement—-

People Who Sneak Into This Country Illegally

I’ll let you in on a little secret; I don’t verify the legal residency status of the freelancers I hire. They’re not employees. I’m not required to collect an I-9 from them. And you can’t make me. You may or may not have snuck (it sounds so much better than “sneaked”) into this country illegally from Canada. I wouldn’t know, because I won’t waste time figuring it out.

I’m just glad I don’t have to pay payroll taxes and costly employee benefits for ya.

People are always blaming their circumstances for what they are. I don’t believe in circumstances. The people who get on in this world are the people who get up and look for the circumstances they want, and if they can’t find them, make them. ~ George Bernard Shaw

Do you know anyone who has employed themselves after being rejected by numerous employers?

 This article was featured in Totally Money Blog Carnival #34 at Canadian Finance Blog.

Did you enjoy this article?
Subscribe to Our Newsletter
Sign up for our weekly newsletter to receive exclusive wealth building tips and a FREE ebook, Curb Your Consumerism: 75 Secret Strategies to Waste Less, Live Well, and Save More Money.

Free copy of Curb Your Consumerism: 75 Secret Strategies to Waste Less, Live Well, and Save More Money
Exclusive wealth building tips delivered directly to your inbox
We will NEVER send you spam
Enter your name and email below to get INSTANT ACCESS to my free eBook and weekly newsletter!

{ 16 comments… read them below or add one }

Virginia September 25, 2011 at 12:10 AM

I belive that ex-cons and and people with bad credit should have jobs or else they will be on the dole and ask taxpayers to foot the bill again. That isn't productive. Illegals are another story and shouldn't be hired in this country and the employer should be fined and heavily.We have so much drugs coming into this country and the illegals are bringing it here to gain passage. We have illegals growing marijuana on Our Lands to sell it to Our people and I think that is deplorable.
Something should be done about that and really soon. This has been going on in this country for decades. I resent that very much. An illegal has no rights and is not intitled to any. Its time for that to stop!


Shawanda September 25, 2011 at 8:53 AM

You're right.

Illegals shouldn't grow marijuana and sell it to our people.

Americans should be able to legally grow marijuana and sell it to our people.

What needs to stop is this ridiculously expensive and ineffective war on drugs.


debtfree30 October 2, 2011 at 7:17 PM

I'm in Australia and it would be illegal here for potential employers to check your credit report. (Lucky for me!) But our credit reports are very different to the US anyway, and told give much info. We don't have "credit scores" per se. Criminal record checks happen, you have to sign a document to allow the potential employer to check, but obviously it won't be looked at favourably if you don't sign! Working for yourself may be a solution, but I think it's easier said than done – depending on your skills, competition, etc. And AVOID all the ads you see about "single mum earning thousands per month via the internet"!


Shawanda October 3, 2011 at 10:17 PM

Working for yourself can be challenging, but sometimes you don\’t have much choice. Unfortunately, past behavior is still the best indicator of future behavior. Employers are iffy about hiring people who are prone to violating the law and getting locked up.

I wonder whether there\’s any verifiable proof that people with good credit are better employees than people with bad credit. I read somewhere that people with bad credit are more likely to file claims against their insurance company, and as a result, are less profitable customers. Employers are paying to pull prospective employees\’ credit reports, there must be some benefit to it.


JohnsonSmith October 11, 2011 at 6:45 AM

I hope that ex-cons and people with bad credit must have jobs otherwise they will be on the dole and ask taxpayers to base the bill again.


Philanthropy Asia March 6, 2012 at 4:37 AM

It is really nice to find that people with bad credit may find the jobs. I really appreciate your hardwork in the post. http://sfoasia.org/


Chrondale August 30, 2012 at 6:59 PM

This article was worthless. It did not say how you can get a job if you have bad credit. It simply said (quite incorrectly) that “only” 60% of employers check your credit. That’s BS. It’s more like 99% in fact, I can not think of a single job which I have applied to that did not require you to submit to credit check. Even Mcdonalds required it. The other thing this article absurdly suggested for people with bad credit is to just “make your own job” WTF? Really? I have bad credit, nobody will hire me so I’ll just start my own business! Great idea. What an idiot. Where do you get money for your business if no one will lend to you? Effing Idiot wrote this article. Another problem is affirmative action. The only time I even get interviews is when I say I’m “Hispanic” (im a white dude) which they always ask for your race.


Shawanda Greene August 31, 2012 at 9:21 AM

Sounds like you’re hell-bent on whining, complaining and making excuses for your own self inflicted mediocrity. Take responsibility for your life and quit bitchin’.

The statistics I provided in this article were provided by reputable organizations. Not sure you bothered to click on the links. There’s no way in Hades, 99% of employers check your credit. Where’d you get your “facts” from? You, sir, are not a representative sample of the entire country.

You don’t need a loan to start a business, but you could look to your family and friends. If they don’t have the money, you could find people to fund your project (Kickstarter.com) or fund the business yourself with your own savings. I don’t care what you do to get the money. Clean houses, cut grass, pull weeds, walk dogs, paint porches . . . Come to think of it, those are jobs in and of themselves. You can do freelance work like I mentioned in the article. Or hit up your friends and family for paid work. I used to pet sit for a friend who paid me. Go on Craigslist and look for paid gigs. How many people do you think check your credit for a half day’s work?

I know plenty of successful “white dudes.” As a matter of fact, the U.S. has tens of millions of them. I know one in particular who created a software and has made tens of thousands of dollars off of his product. He didn’t need a loan to do it. My mother (not a white dude) started a day care business without borrowing money. My father (black dude) couldn’t even read and he found all types of ways to bring in extra cash for our family. Whatever skills you have use them. If you don’t have any skills, who’s fault is that?

To assert that you can’t get a job unless you’re Hispanic is ludicrous.
Shawanda Greene recently posted..How to Move Without Blasting a Hole in Your BudgetMy Profile


Kelly May 4, 2014 at 12:37 AM

Great article! When my husband was locked up, I spent $45 on some shovels and snow melting equipment. When he got out, he got to work shoveling snow. He charged $20 per house and could do up to 10-12 per day. Eventually, we hired on more guys to cover more homes. Now we have a snow shoveling business and are doing very well. During the summer we have an ice cream truck that we bought with proceeds from the snow shoveling. And we started this business with less than $50!

Another man who was locked up with my husband was able to buy a pressure washing machine and now has a pressure washing business. Where there is a will, there’s a way! Thanks for writing this!


Annmarie July 21, 2014 at 9:45 AM

If some one needs to be updated with most recent technologies after that he must be pay a visit this site
and be up to date every day.
Annmarie recently posted..AnnmarieMy Profile


Sharon August 15, 2014 at 5:18 AM

Many tell me that their cheating had very little to do with their wife.
Besides dating or being seen with derek blasberg, or acting like a neutral and safe date, Is there any more value in him.
s important to reiterate that going out immediately and finding someone
to be with is a bad mistake.
Sharon recently posted..SharonMy Profile


bankruptcy record September 28, 2014 at 12:26 AM

What is a Low cost Public Court Records Scan?


Dyan October 9, 2014 at 3:05 PM

Every weekend i used to go to see this web
site, as i wish for enjoyment, for the reason that this this web site
conations genuinely nice funny data too.
Dyan recently posted..DyanMy Profile


increase my fico score October 30, 2014 at 8:31 AM

Usually I ddo not learn post on blogs, howecer I wish to say that this write-up very compelled me to
take a look at and do so! Your writing taste has been amazed me.

Thanks, quie nice article.
increase my fico score recently posted..increase my fico scoreMy Profile


the DUI laws March 28, 2015 at 6:18 AM

Good way of describing, and nice piece of writing to take data
regarding my presentation subject matter, which
i am going to present inn school.
the DUI laws recently posted..the DUI lawsMy Profile


jenssen varela January 13, 2017 at 7:39 AM

This is really a complicated situation. No one like excons. People don’t trust them and with bad credit score it is really difficult to move forward.


Cancel reply

Leave a Comment

CommentLuv badge

{ 3 trackbacks }

Previous post:

Next post:

Page 1 of 11