How A Bad Credit Score Ruined A Person’s Career

Ruined Career Due To Poor Credit

I've made the argument a good credit score doesn't matter much anymore. So if you have a bad credit score, all isn't lost. The post gave examples of renting an apartment, finding a job, buying a car, and getting into school where the credit score didn't help or hurt at all.

Even SoFi, one of the largest emerging student lenders announced this year they are doing away with the FICO score when analyzing a loan.

If you can strategically foreclose on your home as a CFP, while still being employed by the NY Times as a columnist, get two financial advice book deals, and get invited to be a keynote speaker at a financial conference, who cares if you welch on your debt?

But like so many things, there's always another side to the story. Let's have a read of what one Financial Samurai reader wrote about how he was negatively affected by a bad credit score.

How Bad Credit Can Hurt Your Career

Recently I was affected by bad credit. My credit took a downward turn during the last recession. I purchased a distressed house as an investment for roughly $100k. I spent another $100k fixing up and remodeling a house. The original rehab estimates were much less, around $60-70k. However, as we worked on the house, we found more issues that added to the price tag.

The goal was to sell for $230k before the repair cost went up, but by the time it was ready to sell the market shifted for the worst. It was a calculated risk where I paid its price. Now, a house that we spent 200k on was worth less than our purchase price. And the value continued to diminish. So, I tried to rent the house out instead.

I managed to find a renter, but I was coming up short about $700/month that I had to pay myself (I also had my own mortgage to worry about). And this was only the beginning of my problems.

Someone stole the A/C unit one day of all things. That cost time and money. Then the roof started leaking. More costs. Then my renters moved out and I couldn’t find anyone else to move in. Now I was paying +$1700/month plus my own mortgage.

Folks trashed the backyard. City sited me for trash violations. I had a lot more to worry about than just a bad credit score.

Then the house next door flooded in the middle of winter. The overflow flooded my basement to knee-high levels. More money departing… and I got a sore ass from slipping on ice.

Then, drug addicted squatters camped out inside the house. I had to send some folks to kick them out, clean out the needles, and finally board up the place.

I tried to short-sell it. The bank wouldn’t entertain it because I was current on my payments. Then after two years of hemorrhaging money, I made a choice. Either continue to lose all my money, or lose my credit, all because I tried to make some money on real estate. I wiped my hands clean and walked away from my mortgage.

A few years later, I decided to go to business school. I went to a top tier school thinking I could make up some of the money I lost in the long run if I could get into an investment bank. I did that for a short while.

Then I got a job offer at a regional bank. I left to go on our honeymoon. When I got back, I listened to a voicemail from this regional bank that they can’t proceed with hiring me because of the foreclosure on my record. I’m getting penalized for a mistake I made 8 years ago when I bought the place. I had even turned down a bulge bracket bank to take this offer.

When I asked the regional bank to explain their decision, they told me it was a bank-wide policy not to hire anyone with foreclosure above $12k, which is ridiculous if you ask me. Who has a foreclosure for $12k or less?

I went back to the bank I turned down and they don’t have that kind of bank-wide policy, only for certain positions like loan origination.

I’m not making excuses for having poor credit. I made some bad decisions, like taking a risk on real estate that just didn’t pan out. For those of you so ready to judge our foreclosures, think about how you would have handled it if put in the same situation. You might not have ever been in the situation to begin with if you are completely risk averse (and now I am definitely risk averse). But sometimes, you take a risk and lose. That’s life.

When you make a bad investment, do you continue hemorrhaging money so you can save your credit? Unfortunately, I’m still paying for this mistake, since we couldn’t move back to my wife’s hometown. But considering how much more money I would have lost if I had kept the house, I still think letting go was the right decision.

Prepare For Bad Breaks And Reverse Your Bad Credit Score

Holy smokes! Talk about a series of unlucky breaks. If I was in the reader's shoes, I'm not sure I would have kept on losing $1,700/month on an underwater property. That said, I don't think I would have taken myself out of the work force for two years to get my MBA with so many bills to pay. Instead, I would have gotten my MBA part-time in order to keep getting a steady paycheck.

It's true that certain employers will review a potential candidates credit report and deny him/her employment if bad things come up. So yes, a bad credit score can hurt your career because it can limit your opportunities.

The reader clearly had a case of bad luck and bad timing. We've all been there. The upside is that with so much bad luck, how can it get much worse? There's plenty of room for improvement.

I've had a lot of bad luck happen to me when I was younger. And frankly, a lot of my bad luck was due to poor choices. The upside to making mistakes is that we tend not to make the same mistakes again. Screwing up young is better than screwing up when there's a lot more at stake when we are old.

The importance of developing financial buffers is real. Something bad will happen to us eventually when we least expect it. Welching on your debt might very well be the only alternative left. Perhaps you'll experience a sense of shame at first. But if can and you understand the repercussions, then who are we to judge?

Further Reading

Here are some additional articles to help you reverse your bad credit score. Start improving your finances today!

Refinance Your Expensive Debt

With a good or improving credit score, you should highly consider refinancing your expensive student loan, mortgage, or credit card debt with Credible.

Credible is a top lending marketplace that provides real quotes, all in one place. It is the efficient way to get the best deal out there.

60 thoughts on “How A Bad Credit Score Ruined A Person’s Career”

  1. This behind the eight ball credit collapse has happened to me. It was driven by an Arizona underwater home and decisions during that period.

    I moved out of state to take a job in 2009 and my thinking as I supported the negative rent cash flow via savings was I needed good credit.

    Then my job was eliminated a few years later at the worst possible time. I missed multiple debt payments including mortgage and it destroyed my credit score. My credit report now looks embarrassingly awful as everything I was trying to keep current appears late. By the way, creditors are not really interested in working something out. In addition to it being a draining effort talking with them, they ultimately go the other way by increasing your intrest rate, penalties. I do not know the solution on this part- it will keep you treading water even when you start work again.

    Under the current system, I do not blame a company or HR person for not hiring me. This is the metric they have been told to use.
    Here is the thing: I am in my mid 40s and feel very seasoned. However, Who would want to hire me in Corporate America to use this financial based skill set I have developed over the last 15 years. Once again, I don’t blame them. It appears I can’t handle my own money.

    Hey my friends- this happened quick. In retrospect, I should have almost certainly short sold my underwater home in 2009. Good luck.

  2. I have heard many readers about how real estate was a bad deal one way or the other. I wish to share how I am third generation real estate investor not a dabbler.
    I had to buy my own without any help. So I couldn’t qualify for a decent rental so I bought the lot next door and built my first rental. I built off the credit of that one. I also had to check the tenants as you would any investments.
    It took time and now within 10 years I have flipped some kept the others and averaged enough income I lived in one and rent the other until my next move to find a better place to retire close to all the necessary services. If you get into real estate be a an investor not a dabbler you will see a better return and you can pull better loans in the future to cover other investments! I am third generation each left a couple of millions to following. We all had to work to get any paid checks for their family. No free ride it was a teaching in progres. I challenge anyone get into real estate to add to their investments mix you will do well if your not a dabbler!

  3. A bad credit score can be devastating today. Over the years, many of my clients have come to me for advice in regards to having bad credit and debt problems too. It is imperative to stay on top of your credit score every year, especially with identity theft becoming a major problem today.

  4. Believe Fire

    I’ve always been a believer that welching on debt is not an option. After reading this, I can’t say that I would hold true to my “morals” as it was truly a nightmare of a situation. Best of luck to this reader. Hopefully, after a hard lesson learned, they are on the right track now.

  5. I like to refer to the credit SCORE as the “paying fees & interest on time SCORE”.

    It does not take account into account one’s income—or, even better, your debt-to-income ratio… Nope. It does not take into account savings rate, net worth… It only look kat your relationship with DEBT… Plain and simple… How absurd!!!

    The only way to have a good credit score is to go into debt, stay in debt, and continually pay your accounts perfectly—without adding too much debt or paying too much off. In other words, stay in debt for as long as you can. How ridiculous is that?

    Banks have done a wonderful at selling and marketing this false idea that you need to have a good credit score (i.e being and staying in DEBT and giving your $$ to them) to be financially successful.

    Creidt score does not equate wealth.

  6. Dave @ Financial Slacker

    I know investing in real estate is a foundation for many retirement plans, but we have stayed away up to this point.

    It’s been hard for me to get comfortable with the lack of liquidity as well as the property management requirements.

    I’m always worried that I’ll need the cash and not have a way to get out of the deal.

    This seems to validate my concerns.

    1. I don’t think this is a cautionary tale about real estate as much as a cautionary tale about risk. The lack of liquidity and management was part of the poster’s problem but the second part was the fact that the underlying asset decreased in price and stopped generating a return. This can happen with any asset class and is especially painful when leverage is utilized (think stocks bought on margin).

      The problem really comes back to leverage in a declining market. Actually, I would argue that if you are going to be an asset with leverage, real estate is probably one of the easiest to hold in a declining market as long as you have fixed terms on the note.

      I was very surprised that credit history can be reason to deny a person a job and it wouldn’t trigger a discrimination suit. It looks like in some states credit history cannot be used for this function such as Hawaii and Illinois but some industries are exempt (finance).

  7. The numbers in this story don’t add up. A monthly payment of $1700 on a $200,000 loan is equivalent to a 9.6% interest rate (neglecting the cost of taxes and insurance). What kind of financing did the author have? Is he a time traveler who just popped in from 1978?

  8. I’ve only ever worked in the financial industry and checking personal credit is standard practice. Eliminating candidates based on poor credit is all about risk mitigation…

    In terms of real estate as an investment, it is not for most people. So many things can go wrong (repairs, vacancy, downturn in the market etc.) and it’s important to have lots of cash reserves to cover those potential negative events. You also have to be actively involved in your properties. We tend to underestimate the costs and over estimate the value of a flip.

    Going to business school was a gutsy decision. Not sure I’d do that if I was drowning in debt.

  9. Here’s another perspective. I’m the guy that lived next door to this reader.

    Bought my home for $740K, put $80K into it. The market turned down, but I was making extra Principal payments and paid off the home in five years. Speculators and wanna-be landlords started bottom feeding as Foreclosure Fever spread. The house next-door was short-sold, kept declining and the new owners let it go to foreclosure after stripping the house and letting it become an eyesore. After seven years of disappointing neighbors and a disappointing neighborhood, sold for…wait for it…$510K. I did the right thing, paid my bills and taxes, kept my home up and actually improved it, and the consecutive owners of the home next door did not pay their loans, taxes or upkeep. How much of my $310K loss was due to that failure to fulfill both financial and social contracts? I’ll let you pick a percent and figure out my penalty for their (in)action.

    Sorry to hear about your reader’s tough times, but his actions negatively impacted the bank, the bank shareholders, neighbors, and other property owners. I wonder if this ever crossed his mind.

    1. I feel you b/c I own a condo where a lot of other condos foreclosed/short-saled during the financial crisis and took my condo’s value down with it. The only financial positive is that I got a free loan mod from BoA that went from 5.75% to 4.25% for a 30-year fixed b/c I never welched.

      Having a lot of debt and then taking yourself out of the workforce to get an expensive MBA sounds counter intuitive.

      Per your point on the neighbors, I guess one should buy in a neighborhood where you see a lot of scaffolding and remodeling. Brings up values and higher quality residents.

  10. Ugh. Not much to comment on rather than to say I really feel for the reader.

    RE can certainly take a bad turn which is why I always build in huge cushion. But even if that’s done, it can all go south (as this illustrates).

    It’s also a lesson in not putting all your financial eggs in one basket.

  11. I know of several people who tried to either join the military and were rejected, or were already in and tried to get a job with a security clearance and failed because of their credit score and/or debt. The military thinks the debt is a good way for “bad guys” to get a foot in the door. “I’ll pay off your debt if you get me this piece of info” type deal.

  12. Distilled Dollar

    On the plus side, the reader acknowledged the real estate risk. He played a game and was aware of the stakes. Many people I know would shy away from admitting that responsibility, they may have blamed the economy or some outside factor and never learned much from the experience.

    Financial buffers are a must. When I talk to someone about building a cash buffer, I prefer to use the terms ‘when you need it’ instead of ‘if you need it’. It reinforces your point that bad things happen naturally.

    Setting up that buffer ensures an unfortunate event doesn’t turn into a disaster.

  13. Worse is all the people who don’t get the job because of bad credit but don’t know that’s why there weren’t hired — the “we decided to go with another candidate” with the unstated (because you failed your background check).

    Every company has their filters. For the longest time Google wouldn’t hire anyone unless they were from a top tier university. Others use “who you know”. And some use background / credit checks.

    Best to be in a position where you’re working for yourself. You always pass your own filters…

    1. Yes, wondering WHY is often the most annoying. An employer will never reveal, because of fear of getting a discrimination lawsuit.

      Nothing beats working for yourself if you can earn enough to survive!

  14. I know it still matters to you because that’s a criteria when you pick a new tenant. I dont really understand why you need this system when it seems to bother everyone. Noone wants to change that ?

  15. nicoleandmaggie

    Some of my husband’s family is a lot lower SES than we are, and so their credit scores are checked for minimum wage jobs (which they then don’t get because of their bad credit). Nobody cares about your credit score when you have a PhD but it is pretty important when you didn’t graduate from high school.

  16. Just the other day I was skyping with my parents back in Europe, and I was explaining them how the US with its policies is actually very similar to what my country used to be during the communist regime. During that time we had what was called “Biography” or Records. There were people who had a “Stain in their Biography”, those were people who had done something that went against the communist ideals. They weren’t necessarily people who had broken the law, but they weren’t having it easy because of various reasons like: a relative had left the country illegally, or they hadn’t helped the communists fight the Germans during the WW2, or they had lots of lands before the collectivization, etc.

    These kind of people would lose opportunities to advance in career, or social benefits that were all controlled by the state. There were talented athletes who weren’t given the chance to play for the national teams because of these cases in their “records”, or smart kids who would be given the possibility to go to the best school or major.

    Same thing is happening with the “Credit Score” in the states, people who are hard working, are not being given the opportunity to advance in life.

    1. “Stain in their Biography.” Very interesting! I used the example of the CFP to highlight how you can still do very well even if your credit score takes a dive. Maybe anything is really possible in America.

      I do believe folks should be forgiven for poor credit after so many years. We all make mistakes and become better because of them.

      1. It’s the “American Dream”, while it’s true and possible, it makes people be overly positive and risk takers, not everyone is successful. The “Dream” shows you what you can achieve, but it doesn’t tell you what you can lose.

        I’ve come define the American mindset to be in a “Thriving” mode, where people find they have enough for their basic needs, so they focus on growth(and spending).
        Being raised in a culture with complete opposite value system,because of the economy and various other reasons their mindset is in “Survival” mode, where people are skeptic about their future so they want to make sure they have what they need in the moment with very little investing and action oriented attitude.

        Personally I try to take the best from both, I try to be conservative with my spending and positive with investing.

  17. Wow sorry to hear that reader had such a tough time. That must have been heartbreaking when they didn’t get the job because of the foreclosure. I knew that many firms check credit before hiring but hadn’t heard about a specific example of a dollar limit on foreclosures for all applicants at certain firms. Hope things start getting better for him soon.

  18. As a consultant, I often get credit checked prior to a project. I had always assumed that was because many white collar criminals suffer from gambling addiction, drug addiction, etc. and this would likely show on their credit report (easier to ring up a bunch of credit cards before graduating to theft).

    If foreclosure is the only ding on the credit report (And I thought it falls off after 7 years), this is a very strange reason to deny employment. Perhaps the bank got so burnt, that most employees don’t want anything to do with the types of people who foreclose?

    Obviously 8 years ago was a different time. If anyone is in a similar position today, airbnb and uber your way out of the $1,700 a month until times get better. 1 day a weekend ubering, and leasing your sofa a couple of nights a week, isn’t likely all that pleasant, but will help you tread water until times get better.

    1. Good point. The gig economy has greatly enabled anybody to make more money if they want to. It just takes time and sacrifice. However, even before the emergence of TaskRabbit and Uber etc, one could still find ways to work a second job or teach on the side etc. It’s just easier now.

  19. Yikes! That’s a tough break. It goes to show that you need a strong cash flow to invest in real estate. If you can’t carry the payment for a while, then it’s probably not a good idea to risk it. I think it was a good idea to let it go too. I hope he finds a good job soon.

  20. I remember back almost 20 years ago, at the company where I was working, a college friend interviewed and I had found out he was offered the job. He had his start date and everything, only then the offer was pulled. They had done a credit check and he had some problems so they pulled the offer. I believe it’s really just tied to the thought that the company does not trust that you can live up to the job if you can’t properly take care of your money. Fair? Maybe, maybe not, but it’s the reality.

    1. It probably is, besides the fact that the job market is very competitive. One should figure out what their credit score now, especially if there was a credit incident in the past, and do everything to try and raise it if a potential job hope is in store. My previous mortgage refinance attempt 4 years ago was almost derailed due to a bad credit score I had no idea I had. Old tenant forgot to pay the utility bill and it was sent to collections under my name for 3 years!

  21. I just had an incident last week where a low credit score kept us from retaining services. We have low credit because we are out of debt and live a credit free lifestyle (only use debit cards and cash for purchases). Our score has been going down and will eventually hit zero. I called a local company to switch our natural gas service (which would have been 11 cents lower per therm than we are currently paying). The customer service rep told me they’d have to run my credit before accepting me. When I explained why our credit was low, she said they don’t take any customers if it’s below a certain score. They won’t look at past bill payments or even put you on a six-month probation period. They will not under any circumstances give service to a potential customer with a low score. So I was forced to stay with my current company.

    I find it unfortunately amazing that some businesses have no options whatsoever to bring in customers who have no credit by choice or bad credit due to poor choices.

    1. Hmm, fascinating and kinda messed up. I don’t think your credit score will go to zero though no? That seems extreme.

      With my latest mortgage refinance, I found out my Experian score is 785 now from 810 last year. The only thing I did was pay off the remaining ~$100,000 mortgage balance to my rental property. I’ve paid everything else on time as usual for the past 17 years post college. Strange!

      1. It will absolutely go down to zero (technically its a no score), which will be a good thing for Brian- no score is better than a poor one. It’s like going back to before you had started having debt.

        If all of his accounts are CLOSED (not just unused) then in as little as 6 months he could be at 0 (depends on type of accounts and any derogatory info). You can still get a mortgage and rated for other services, it just means the banks have to do a little more work. Places like Sofi are already moving away from a FICO score anyway.

        It’s a personal choice to decide to stop playing the FICO game, and more power to those that do. I don’t think it’s a big hassle to just keep a credit card around with a 0 balance each month, but to each their own.

        1. I’ve never heard of a middle-aged US citizen with a 0 FICO score. Perhaps I will write about this!

          But before the FICO score goes to zero, are you saying the person has to suffer an ever declining score? I guess it doesn’t matter that much if the person isn’t going to apply for credit or refinance.

          1. There are a few prominent personal finance gurus out there who have no FICO score and advocate others do the same. The one I’m most familiar with is Dave Ramsey.

            I haven’t gone through it, so what I’m about to say is just an educated case. I may have heard Ramsey talk about it declining over time on a podcast once, but don’t quote me. I’m sure it varies greatly for people based on their history and contents of their credit report; my hypothesis is just that you are saddled with a mediocre score until it drops to 0.

            We all know its impossible to get an elite score without continually using credit (and having a mortgage and variety of other types of debt); stands to reason that your score would decline over time if you aren’t doing any of the things that raise it.

            1. It just makes no sense. Why go through all the trouble, seems ideologically driven and not very rational or pragmatic. A credit score is dead simple once you see the formula a single time, keeping and improving one does not require going into debt. Its just a game. You can refuse to play and claim a pyrrhic victory…but who really cares.

          2. Terry Pratt

            About 15 years ago I had a health collapse which landed me in hospital several months – total loss of income – and when the hospital kicked me out I had limited mobility – was using a walker – and was still unable to work for another year. During this time my credit tanked – all open accounts were closed and charged off – and two creditors successfully sued for money judgments.

            When I returned to work it was in a new location – family took me in since I had no way of paying rent – and at minimum wage. Also my student loans defaulted and I was faced with a garnishment that left me living at poverty level.

            With credit in the tank I resorted to trolling Craigslist to find housing. As rents soared in my area, I repeatedly downsized from a small guest house to rooms in overcrowded houses. With no FICO score – other than the judgments and chargeoffs, I have had no credit activity the past 15 years – I have no hope of finding an adequate place to live.

    2. Terry Pratt

      More likely, if you continue to pursue a credit-free lifestyle, FICO will assign you no score at all. Last I looked on the FICO website, FICO requires at least one or maybe two recent (last six months) credit activities reported to a major credit reporting agency.

      So if you don’t / no longer have a mortgage to pay, and you don’t have any active open credit files (debts paid off with no credit cards, outstanding loans, etc), once you have no reported credit activity for six months, you should have no FICO (R) score.

      The lowest score that can be reported by FICO is 350, and I can’t imagine how someone might attain such a low score. At one point I had just about every adverse credit action possible EXCEPT bankruptcy, and my lowest score was in the 490s. (My other two CRA scores were 550 and 620 even with all that adverse activity on my credit report.)

  22. I know the issue is very real.

    I work at a bulge bracket bank and one of my colleagues had to go through an extensive screening and provide a ton of documents before being hired because he had a bankruptcy event in his credit report.

    He had to file for bankruptcy because he racked up million of dollars in medical bills. One of his children had a serious illness and needed a kidney transplant. At that time, my colleague has just been let go by another IB as part of the usual rounds of cuts, with no fault on his part. COBRA or whatever insurance he had did not the costs of the transplant, so he had to pay for the procedure with out of pocket money.

    Between seeing his son die or losing his credit, he preferred the latter, obviously.

    He’s now back on his feet, but the son may still die due to the chronic illness he has.

    1. Oh man, that is a horrible story. To lose your job, not have the proper health insurance coverage, and try to save your son?

      The real story is how insurance wouldn’t cover the cost of the transplant. What they hell is the point of paying insurance premiums every month then?!

      1. That’s the whole point of the Affordable Care Act. Before that went into effect, many insurance companies had caps on coverage. I know a guy who had brain cancer, and after $1 million of medical treatment (which racks up pretty quickly when you’re talking neurosurgery), his health insurance dropped him because he hit the cap. All the rest was out of pocket. That’s why when people complain about their premiums going up, I understand their pain, but that’s a lot less horrible than being stranded by your health insurer in the middle of a real crisis.

        I’m sorry about your friend, Nick. That’s just awful.

        1. That’s what I’ve never understood about some peoples’ opposition to the ACA. It’s about personal responsibility. The complaints about rates raising are just the reality of paying for the real cost of your potential healthcare needs. If your rates were substantially lower before the ACA, it was likely a teaser rate to get you in. If someone’s costs ballooned back in those days, I guarantee that their teaser rate would (if you’re lucky) skyrocket by what their paying for insurance today.

          That said, it’s not perfect, but a good foundation for making things more rational in distributing the true cost of healthcare.

          1. I wonder how much ACA encourages people to NOT care as much about their physical fitness?

            Imagine if each person was given $10,000 a year for having below a 22 BMI. I dare say our overweight epidemic would be solved within 10 years.

            I know I’d workout and eat much better if so!

            Catching a hereditary disease is another story. Very hard to control.

            1. Interesting. Over the last 3 years I’ve chosen to take my company’s option of a high deductible plan. They set it up so it made more financial sense to do so. in a nut shell, it works like this for a single person.

              Employer deposits $1000/yr in employee’s HSA and covers all premiums.

              Employee pays all healthcare costs up $3000. After $3000, employee pays 20% of costs up to ~$6000 out of pocket. No cost to the employee after ~$6000.

              Since the employee doesn’t pay premiums in this high deductible plan, they’re able to save ~$300/month compared to the non-high deductible plan. Both plans are apples to apples except for who is paying at a given out of pocket point.

              In the 3 years that I’ve had this plan, my highest spend in a given year has been $1700.

            2. Kevin @

              I completely agree here. There doesn’t seem to be any benefit to taking care of one’s own well being (I realize not all health issues are lifestyle related). It seems that someone can totally neglect their body, and then insurance is supposed to pay for it. Which in turn means that my excessively high premiums are used to pay for someone else’s poor decisions.

              With Auto insurance, I get a break for being a “good driver”, AAA member, bundling insurance, driving an older vehicle, etc. Why don’t I get a break in my health insurance premiums for being more fit than the guy eating Twinkies on the couch all day!? Maybe I’m missing something. Rant over:)

            3. I think encouraging healthy behaviors is a great thing. But I think the number of people afflicted with hereditary or age-related health issues is vastly underestimated, particularly by people in the normally-young-and-healthy crowd.

              And remember that sometimes healthy behaviors necessitate hospital visits on their own. Sports-related injuries happen, too, and those can cost big bucks. I had a nasty mountain bike fall many years ago, and that resulted in a hospital bill. One of the partners in my law firm has had several bad road-biking accidents (one led to a shattered hip, another led to a broken collarbone), and he’s the healthiest guy in the office.

              If we get too nutso about choices, we might require that sports-related injuries be paid out of pocket instead of covered by insurance, and then we’d be discouraging healthy behaviors. It’s all a balance (or a minefield, depending on how you look at it).

    2. This is one moment when I don’t regret living in a country that has a shitty medical system. At least here the kid would have been treated without parents getting into debt like this. Sure, the hospitals are mostly crappy, many doctors to expect to be bribed, but you don’t lose your livelihood to save your kid’s life :(

      Of …

      Anyway .. back to our case.

      I’m sure the disaster would have been avoided with more experience and planning, but it happened. I’d also go with part-time education, since paying the bills / taxes / debt is something that needs to be done NOW. So I’d priorities on this, while also getting some more education (if this nets him a better job).

      1. The hospitals are mostly crappy and doctor’s need to be bribed. Yep that sounds like a much better system, especially when factoring in that the US has the best medical facilities in the world.

        I agree that the US system is horrible and broken but I would be hesitant to trade it in for a “developing world” system like the one you describe.

  23. Wow what a story… I wonder what the logic is behind the foreclosure rule? Is it a responsibility thing? Risk?

    1. Fear the employee may mishandle company finances and probably a character/moral issue the employer determined in its hiring policy as well.

      If there are so many qualified candidates, perhaps a bad credit score and a felony record are two of the most common criteria to filter out applicants.

    2. if an employee can’t handle their own money, how will they be able to handle millions of dollars of company money?

      1. Terry Pratt

        Not all bad credit scenarios involve the inability to handle money. How about an abrupt health collapse with extended hospitalization and loss of income?

      2. Kyee Jackson

        Stop judging. People make mistakes. Handling a company’s money where there are guidelines and handling your own money is different.

  24. Well, there is bad luck here and bad decisions. The writer clearly did not know what they were doing and was planning a flip without any experience and very little knowledge of the market.

    I happen work for a top MBA school and the good news is that there are oodles of opportunities for someone like this writer – banking jobs are only one subset of opportunities. Plus, banking jobs are the earliest ones to come to fruition, so this MBA would still have time to interview on campus for other jobs. Jobs that will pay very well. And even beyond on-campus recruiting, there will be lots of other opportunities.

    1. Also, I agree that a part-time program might have been a better choice, though the writer might not have found one at that particular school – it might have meant stepping down in rankings. I wonder if the writer considered it….

  25. Ouch – That is a terrible run of bad luck! It sounds like he had put all of his eggs in one basket – and that basket really had some rotten eggs in it. Everything you read says that companies are looking more & more at credit ratings in hiring decisions. I think we are not far from the point where our behavior is scored and graded in many aspects of our lives. I am down to just 15 days of work left before early retirement (@49) and will be happy to not be caught up in the ranking / scoring / credit rating / social media oversight that seems to be growing.

    1. MedSchool Financial

      Your mention of how our behavior is scored is interesting, with the advent of predictive analytics in every other facet of our lives and health. I’m sure it wouldn’t be out of the realm to track purchasing habits, times of the day, purchases made, and a host of other behaviors that would give a broader picture of a persons relationship with credit and finances. Also kudos on the achievement of early retirement.

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