I have been to several interviews over the past 5 years

and I think all of the applications asked for permission to access a credit score. I suppose you could cross out that line on the application, but if they do use credit scores, you probably won’t get the job. On one interview, the application was computerized and there was no way to go to the next screen without granting permission. I’ve seen a couple of job ads that pretty much said not to apply if your credit score was poor, and I’ve even seen one that said not to apply if you weren’t currently working.
I’ve heard the reasoning that those with poor credit scores are more likely to steal, and some people will figure out a way to steal. However, I think good accounting controls can prevent some of it.
I worked for a company where the person who ordered office supplies allegedly ordered extra things and charged them to a random department’s account. An alert manager realized her department had been charged for things they didn’t receive, and that’s how this person was caught. After that, each manager had to approve the supply order for his department before it was placed.
Another instance of alleged employee theft likely could have been prevented, but the manager allowed one person to have access to just about all of the accounting systems and didn’t separate job duties properly. The employee likely wouldn’t have been able to cover up the theft for so long had checks and balances been in place. And somehow nobody noticed that office didn’t seem to be making as much profit as it should have. I’ll bet the person who was suspected of doing all this had a good credit score since the stolen money was being used to pay credit card bills.

I’m starting to understand why workers at fast food joints are demanding higher pay

It’s bottom-of-the-totem-pole jobs like that which are where folks end up, when they absolutely positively need income, and can’t get hired anywhere else. I know we’ve already talked about that issue here and I don’t want to start another argument. But I think the days of those jobs being held by only the young, and/or those who just need a part-time job for some extra spending cash are long past, now they use payday loans in FL lenders. Most of the fast food joints I’ve gone into in the last few years (and it’s a lot less than it used to be, but it used to be almost every day), 1/2 of the staff were easily more than 30 years old, and they were there every day. This might be one of the reasons why. Or they’ve turned into house cleaners or yard mowers or bottom-rung construction workers or pizza delivery folks or whatever. I used to think that when I worked minimum wage while making a mortgage payment, I was unique. We know now that’s becoming more and more common. Sounds like a viscious circle to me. Can’t get higher paying jobs, and can’t get anywhere with the bottom-rung jobs they have.

Great, it’s spreading like a virus..

:-( When I was unemployed, I think that only one or two of the applications required permission for such a search. But the problem is, not everyone can BE self-employed.
So if you don’t apply for jobs because they require good FICO scores, then what’s left? And what about those whose scores have tanked *because* they were unemployed(or underemployed). It’s kinda hard to pay off debt when you can’t get a job because you have too much debt.
We need a revolution…

One of the issues with how online applications are set up

is that you cannot complete the application without giving that information (and thus that implied permission). They won’t let you progress to the next page without that “required information”. It’s a slick setup – you don’t want to cooperate, you don’t get to finish. I used to only see that once in awhile but this latest job search in Sept featured that on every single web-based application I filled out. And ALL of the job postings required that I fill out their online form. No paper versions allowed. A few sites were so blatant as to say that paper resumes and applications would be dismissed without being read.
Nothing like being herded into the cattle car. That’s about how it felt. So I am not surprised in the least that they would then use that SSN information to run the credit report. Which is why I stayed in the “self employed” category, despite earnest intentions to get back into Corporate America (or even non-profit America for that matter). They don’t want to be cooperative, then I sure as heck don’t want to work there.

Yes, I understand it’s not for job loss

However we have had plenty of people post here of Murphy hits that came one after the other in a short time. You know that old saying (and truth to many) that trouble comes in three’s. Individually a $500 hit can easily be covered by $1000 but 3-4 of those hits in a couple of months or less is difficult to cover with $1000.

I would say though that about $2000 – $2500 for most people would be sufficient.

If you follow the steps, you would use all your emergency fund except for a thousand dollars

Then cut your expenses to the bear bones. Raise deductibles, drop cable, walk/bike places instead of drive, cancel hobbies, cut cell phones, cut your own hair, slash the food budget, turn down the heat, shop thrift stores.
Get gazelle and find $1000 a month to throw at those student loans.
Get the kids involved. Get them to sacrifice things and make money too.
Find ways to make extra money too.
You can do it! Pay those loans off ASAP.
it’s not forever, just buckle down and get it down quick.
Then you can focus on getting your retirement percentage to 15%.
Your kids may have to get jobs, grants, and scholarships. Do what you can, but make your retirement savings the priority.