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Author Topic: Credit check  (Read 427 times)

mike001

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Credit check
« on: March 09, 2014, 05:22:39 PM »
Anyone ever run into problems when it came to the credit check during your background check? I have a 540 credit score which is abysmal. However I'm working on it now and will be able to show the payments I'm making to pay it off.

Have any of you had problems with the bar, the school or LSAC when it came to your credit? Thanks!

Citylaw

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Re: Credit check
« Reply #1 on: March 09, 2014, 07:04:31 PM »
I don't think Credit really matters other than for purposes of getting student loan money, but most incoming law students have little or bad credit. Again, if it comes up on an application somewhere disclose your credit, but I doubt anyone would ask. The poor credit score may affect your financial aid package though.

mike001

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Re: Credit check
« Reply #2 on: March 09, 2014, 10:57:06 PM »
I was told it most definitely matters. Anyone have any experience with this? Thanks. :)

Citylaw

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Re: Credit check
« Reply #3 on: March 09, 2014, 11:44:33 PM »
Each state bar will have their own criteria generally called a moral character application. Here is a link to the California Bar preliminary questions http://admissions.calbar.ca.gov/Requirements/Forms.aspx if you declare bankruptcy it comes up, but missing a credit card payment is probably not going to prevent you from going to law school.

As for individual law schools make an LSAC account and look at the various applications. Each school has a slightly different form and one might ask about Credit, but back when I was applying to law schools I never remember it coming up.

If you have a judgment against you or bankruptcy they will ask, but like everything in the law just disclose. Having bad credit doesn't make you immoral etc, but lying about it would.

You should call the state bars and schools you are interested in directly to see what they say, but from my experience I have no recollection of any type of credit score being an issue during the law school application process or going through the California Bar background check.

Maintain FL 350

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Re: Credit check
« Reply #4 on: March 10, 2014, 12:06:16 PM »
I was told it most definitely matters. Anyone have any experience with this? Thanks. :)

I think it depends on what state you're in. Some will pay more attention to this issue than others. There was a recent Ohio case where a guy was declined admission to the bar because he had something like $300k in debt, but I think that's unusual.

In most states I think what they're looking for is any indication that you've acted in a fraudulent manner or that you are irresponsible. For example, running up huge bills and then simply walking away or having multiple bankruptcies could raise red flags. In most cases I think bad credit alone is not going to be much of an issue, but you may have to explain it and it could hold up your application.

I have been told that some states like Florida do pay more attention to this than others. In California I seem to remember that the Moral Character application only required a credit report of you were currently behind on any bills.

Be sure to check with your state bar, though. They are the only source you should trust on these matters.