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Does Unemployment Affect Your Credit Score? How?

Does Unemployment Affect Your Credit Score?
Losing a job is never easy, and the current state of the market does not make finding another one any easier. Find out whether unemployment will affect your credit score or not, through this WealthHow post.
WealthHow Staff
Last Updated: Mar 26, 2018
As of July 2013, the unemployment rate in the United States has reduced to 7.4%, according to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics.
Unemployment and Credit Score
Credit reports do not show whether an unemployment filing or claim has been made. What the credit report does show is your credit and debt history, bankruptcy claims, tax liens, and civil judgments, if any.

Therefore, being unemployed in it itself does not directly affect your credit score or history, if you're filing for unemployment. It will also not affect the credit score if you have some other source of income, or find a job almost immediately.

However, the lack of income resulting from being unemployed will indirectly affect your credit score. The reason being, the absence of a stable job and regular income would make it extremely hard for you to pay off your monthly bills and past debts, which would be recorded unfavorably in your credit report. This will end up affecting your credit score and creditworthiness.
couple in emotional distress
On the other hand, even though the credit bureaus will notice a fall or halt in your income, that won't affect your credit score if you can somehow manage to pay all your dues and bills on time. Piling up credit balance and missing on credit card payments, mortgage or loans, are some detrimental credit-related behavior that will adversely affect your credit score.

If you are considering applying for unemployment benefits, keep in mind that the benefits you receive are counted as 'wage income' and are taxable. Thus, applying for a loan or mortgage while being unemployed, would, in all likelihood, be declined, because the income being received at the time would not be adequate to sanction a risk-free mortgage.
analyzing data pen calculator
Tips to Maintain Your Credit During Unemployment
If you anticipate a long period of unemployment after getting laid-off, contact your creditors to reduce the amount you're required to pay per month, or request that your bills be held back (deferment), so that you can pay them off when you have been gainfully employed.
you had one job
Since the State provides unemployment benefits only for 26 weeks, it would be prudent for those who are still employed to start an emergency fund that is maintained every month. This fund should comprise your usual monthly payments and general expenses, so that, in case you do lose your job in the future, and once the 26-week benefits are availed, you still have some savings dedicated specifically for paying off your debts and bills, apart from your own expenses.
unemployment benefits form
Try to avoid making any further credit charges during your course of unemployment. Instead, try to reduce your current expenses, and also avoid incurring new debts.
The State Unemployment Handbook allows its applicants to earn up to half of their weekly unemployment benefit check through part-time jobs. So, doing a part-time job can help you pay off a part of your bills on time, because late payments affect the credit score and the credibility of the card owner.