Becoming a police officer is a lofty and worthwhile ambition. The exact requirements differ from state to state. One thing that is true in every area is that the process is grueling. The process of getting hired includes an extensive background check, polygraph and an examination of the candidate's credit report. Law enforcement agencies consider ongoing bad credit as a sign of not being reliable and of having poor judgment. By itself, a poor credit rating won't disqualify you from getting hired, but it will take some work to get hired with a bad credit rating.
View your credit report. It is crucial to see what is on it prior to applying for the job. Scour the credit report carefully and make sure that all information is accurate. Correct any errors that are in the credit report by contacting the companies and reporting the errors to the credit bureau. Advise the recruiting officer assigned to you regarding errors and the actions you have taken to resolve them.
Pay off as many debts listed on the credit report as you can. That means contacting every company and making payment arrangements. Once that is done, contact the credit bureau with proof of payment. The credit bureau will then remove the debt from your credit report.
Be completely upfront about the reasons for your bad credit rating. If you have bad credit due to medical or family reasons, explain that thoroughly. A police department makes exceptions if you make it clear that the bad credit is a case of poor judgment.
Focus on getting a top score on the entrance examination. Take the steps necessary to study and prepare for the exam. Getting the best score possible may offset poor credit.
Do well on the oral exam. Getting prepared for the oral interview will pay off during the testing. If you ace the oral exam, there is a decent chance of getting hired.
Tips & Warnings
- Never lie or omit information when applying for a job as a police officer.
- Photo Credit Darrin Klimek/Digital Vision/Getty Images
How to Become a Detroit Police Officer
Detroit, Michigan, is one of the largest cities in the United States, which means the police officers there have their hands full...