Credit Checks on the Job Hunt: Should They Stay or Should They Go?

Pin It

Long before the Great Recession began in 2007, and really went full-force in late 2008, job seekers were already wary of one particular hiring practice: the credit check.

Some employers run credit checks before deciding which candidate to choose. They can’t run a check without your permission, so you must first sign a form that allows them to check your credit history. You can choose not to sign it, but they can then choose not to consider you for the job.

Why would your boss care whether you have an outstanding payment on your car? Answers vary, but the gist is that employers think you need to be responsible with your finances before they can trust you. In other words, if you’re not dependable enough to keep your own matters in order, what kind of an employee would you be?

In an article on credit checks during a job hunt, CareerBuilder writer Rachel Farrell explains:

“Though many people argue that credit scores have nothing to do with their capabilities on the job, some employers say differently. Sixty percent of employers recently surveyed by the Society of Human Resource Management said they run credit checks on all or some potential new hires. That’s up from 43 percent in 2006 and 25 percent in 1998.

Opinions vary on whether this is fair. Supporters of credit checks don’t think it’s any different than checking a candidate’s references. But opponents see it as unfair — especially in this economy — because medical problems, divorce or a job layoff and subsequent missed bills can wreck an otherwise perfect credit score in an  instant.

Unfair? Perhaps, but the practice is widespread and legal in most states. Employers must tell applicants if they were turned down due to a credit check. But recently, Illinois became one of a few states to prohibit the use of credit checks as a deciding factor in the hiring process. Well, kind of. As The Consumerist points out:

“Under the new law, employers may access credit checks under limited circumstances, including positions that involve: bonding or security per state or federal law; unsupervised access to more than $2,500; signatory power over businesses assets of more than $100; management and control of the business; access to personal, financial or confidential information, trade secrets, or state or national security information.”

So there are exceptions, and perhaps you can agree with all or some of them. The correlation between financial responsibility and handling money on a daily basis isn’t that  far-fetched. However, credit checks as a hiring component are legal in most of the country and they are a problem for many job seekers.

The economy has not been kind to bank accounts, as employers have laid off workers, frozen or reduced salaries, cut 401(k) matches and been slow to hire. Jobless claims rose alongside foreclosures. Medical issues for the unemployed have put financial strains on families. Credit scores surely suffered. Much like the frustrating predicament that entry-level job seekers have where they need experience to even get a job to earn that experience, job seekers who need income to improve their financial situations are unable to get hired because of their finances. Therefore, even if you agree with credit checks, you can probably see why some job seekers are concerned about this practice.

Where do you stand on credit checks during the hiring process? Is Illinois doing the right thing by enacting this law or do employers have a good reason to check your credit history? Have you ever lost out on a job because of your credit history? Let us know.

276 Comments
  1. I think this process has become outdated in our current economy. Of course with the exception of those that handle any aspect of a company’s finances.

    However I have seen companies use this as yet another tool to weed out other-wise viable candidates. For example, I know a candidate that has a personal life that’s a complete mess..but they have stellar credit. Why? This candidate was always good at finances and never lost a job despite the drama they kept going. Would I trust this candidate with our org’s confidential data…no way!

    On the flip, I know a candidate who has deplorable credit, yet I’d trust them with confidential information in a heart beat. Why? They have integrity but unfortunately was let go over a year ago (with a young child who has medical issues).

    I’d go for the candidate with less than par credit who could bring real value and peace to the org over the person with stellar credit any day.

    • It is totally untrue about checking credit…If someone has a low credit rating doesn’t mean they are financially incapable of holding employment or a good/bad employee, has nothing to do with it. WHY?
      1. Your credit score can lower depending how many others have dig into it
      2. If you pay your debts to fast your score can lower
      3. If you don’t have enough credit cards or you have decided not to purchase items on credit and decided to pay cash, this can give you a low credit score.
      4. Losing your job
      All the factors I listed above (I am sure there are more) does not constitute bad credit and you shouldn’t be judge. You may be very good with your money and have decided not to use credit cards and always pay cash, like my husband and I, this does not mean we have bad credit. We decided not to have some private company suck us up dry and make money off of us when we can make it ourselves. Though we consider your self lucky by purchasing most our items, car, furniture and appliance (other than a home) with cash, this idea of credit has made it hard for both my husband and I, but we do have a lot of money saved. I too was turned down for a job around 2001 because of my credit; oddly enough we had just purchase a home, so how can I’ve been a risk? Maybe when they checked it, it wasn’t so high because the mortgage company just looked at it, YOU THINK. About a week after I was informed I didn’t get this job I got a job with the most money making federal business in the world “The Department of Treasury”. So there you go you private business.

      • @ Monica – I’m surprised you were hired anywhere, regardless of your credit history – you cannot compose a complete paragraph without SEVERAL: grammar, spelling, usage and typographical mistakes !!

        • Teresa,
          Let me guess your a tenured teacher getting over paid to baby sit, looking a a nice pension suckin the tax payers dry…. It’s easy to say when you have a nice job with job protection that rewards those who kiss ass. I would love to see you turned for a job because YOU have a bad credit score, When you are actually well quallified for the position. And the person who was offered and took the position was a dim-wit. But they did have a good credit score! Yes membership does have its privileges. Tell me this…you ignorant selfserving twit, WHAT does a credit score have to do with handling explosives, electricity,auto machanics …… NOTHING!! Do you really want someone wiring your house, putting breakes on your car when they don’t know how. OH wait …I”m sorry, what was I thinking they have 830 credit score.That makes it OK! But you have a job with health benifits, paid holidays,sick time, so that does not concern you now does it. You read what Monica wrote but you didn’t hear what she was saying. So.. who is the smarter person. Your about as smart as a bag of hammers, from what I can tell. Have a nice day. :)

          • In addition, these comments are just comments. Monica is not contending for being the perfect blogger. So back off Teresa. Or is it that you truely have nothing better to do than to make slanderous remarks at people who you believe you are above. I hope one day someone pushes you off your high horse. Thanks!

          • @ eat my shorts and Monica,

            What you’ve just said is one of the most insanely idiotic things I have ever heard. At no point in your rambling, incoherent response were you even close to anything that could be considered a rational thought. Everyone in this room is now dumber for having listened to it. I award you no points, and may God have mercy on your soul. (Billy Madison, circa 1995)

    • I think the military and federal government need to stop using credit scores as a basis of “awarding” clearances. The last two spies who sold some massive secrets to the Soviets had stellar credit scores, had plenty of money in the bank (put there by the Soviets) and had high powered jobs. I got out before they checked my credit scores, but wouldn’t have been able to keep my clearance because of a couple of bad debts that weren’t my fault or my husband’s, it was his family, but they didn’t come off our reports. Would I have sold secret documents because of my poor credit score? No, Not worth it and certainly not something I would do just for money. I think the Feds/Military need to look at someone’s background and depending on the level of the position, determine the amount of watching that is done. But a credit score–no way.

    • I agree as well. I was offered a banker position and when they checked my credit, they withdrew their offer. I even had to explain my credit situation to a different kind of recruiter of why my credit got shot. Even after explaining to them that it was caused the financial crisis, they still withdrew their offer. I also explained to them that I was trying to get my life together and take care of my credit problems. Do not think it was fair.

      • I totally agree with your comment. I was offered a position as a Customer Support Specialist as a Contractor for the Federal Aviation Administration. I mis understod a question on the application for the background check, but I had provided the personal investigator assigned to my case all of my payment history and payment plan agreements to show that I am making a good faith effort to correct my credit issues but after the background check they took the position away from. I don’t feel that is fair at all. Because through out the entire process I explained to them that my credit was not that good due to being unemployed for 4 months prior and the failing economy.

      • I think the credit check is completely unfair. There are many reasons for financial difficulty and none of them reflect on how well you do a job. Credit scores are difficult to repair and takes years and years because of one rough situation you could be hurt for 5 years jobwise? It’s wrong, and it is MOST definitely wrong with respect to insurance. Charging someone more on their auto insurance because their credit score isn’t high; but their driving record is phenomenal is absolutely disgusting and wrong. To pay more than someone who has had 2 accidents in a 3 year period because your credit isn’t good is vile. It’s a form of profiling, and it repugnant.

        • Credit Scores or what’s on your credit should not be considered because 1st: it’s against the privacy act.(unless you give them permission)2nd: Whether or not you have a high score or not should not be considered a job requirement because it has ABSOLUTELY NOTHING TO DO WITH WHETHER OR NOT YOU CAN DO A GREAT JOB!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! People that make these requirements/questions, would they pass the America peoples appl. for a job? I think NOT!!

    • I do not believe it should be done across the board; it seems a good idea if the potential employee responsibilities include the handling of company’s monies – This requirement is but one of many that companies and employees alike across the US face every year (Most likely, the result of a consultant’s advice.) Some companies tend to be over-dependent on these professionals; their suggestions usually bring the staff additional work, forms, and procedures. They also tend to disrupt the manager-employee relationship and communication by virtue of the tacit agreement created by such proposal.

      I would like to take this opportunity to express my opinion in regards to this policy and the negative effect that can have for both parties.

      I truly believe that our great nation will benefit immensely by looking closely at what companies around the world are doing, examine their employee relations and labor policies, conduct diligent research on procedures, transferable policies, etc., endeavor to deal in good faith, truly deal fairly with all employees and apply the necessary changes accordingly. I have had the opportunity to travel and it never ceases to amaze me how well some managers run their companies abroad and how sound their policies are!

      Most Americans are convinced that our country is superior to all others simply because we were born in it, and possess an excellent track record of success in business, technology, and many other areas. This is a narrow form of belief, and, as we all know, success cannot last forever! – At present, our country is experiencing a financial, political, moral, and spiritual decadence. This certainly seems the right time for companies to get rid of ineffectual employees, outdated forms and sub-standard procedures. We, as employees need to learn and concentrate how to get to the heart of things, refine concepts, reach mutual agreements, and operational excellence.

      The company on the other hand, needs to acknowledge these issues, sustain our efforts and provide us with trust, and the necessary tools that are required to achieve optimal results. We expect innovation from our company in all aspects. Constant improvement of standard operating procedures is necessary. Elimination of sub-standard methods is imperative because these practices are damaging to the operation, relations, and the company as a whole. Senior staff that holds position of power must offer transparency in their dealings with employees.

      Some managers have an unrealistic sense of entitlement, and by rushing to impose their will, they might invite a backlash that not only undermines their ability to lead but end up struggling with emotional and highly sensitive issues and loosing good conscientious workers. I believe these matters to be of the outmost importance. The introduction of a credit report not only could signify something negative but also can preclude the company from hiring the right person for the job. What it is important is to show respect and appreciation for your employees so they can respond in kind rather than eliminating a candidate based purely on a credit rating.

      I believe it falls to the management team to balance these forces and check the facts. I believe no company can take for granted the way some managers treat their employees
      It is entirely possible for a company of any size to be complacent, but complacency is a trap. The company can forever rely on heir manager’ decisions. Treating these managers with deference afforded to a close relative. When this relationship begins to unravel, complacency takes its toll

      I suppose that companies of good size and with strong sales can have a monopoly on truth and a corner on virtue. However, it is rather unlikely that a credit check on a prospective employee is going to yield anything significant or relevant about his or hers work ethic. The reasons for an unfavorable credit report could be many and, in light of the number of forms, a prospective employee is required to complete, it makes sense to eliminate such form and help the employee’s in ways that will minimize their anxiety.

      Cheers & Beers !

    • This is a blatant abuse of power. There can be any number of legitimate reasons why a persons credit score is less than stellar. To use this as a hiring tool is an egregious violation of pirivacy. Additionally, some of the practices that are used by the credit reporting companies are not fair or just. It also sets a very dangerous precedent that can only worsen unless addressed. The line must be drawn, let’s draw it before companies violate our right to privacy over issues that have no direct bearing on our job performance. Lets help people that involuntarily fall into intermittant credit woes, not worsen an already difficult situation by eliminating their ability to address the problem. Negatively effecting their ability to support themselves and their family. Let’s give them at least the possibility of a bright future. In trying times, and these times certainly qualify, commercial entities will always try to establish economic peace of mind and sometimes utilize Machiavellian tactics to do so. It must not be allowed. It is simply wrong.

    • I am actually offended at the number of times i’ve been asked to get a “supposedly free” credit report (which is actually NOT free most of the time), and have been turned down for interviews when i have not done so. Almost NONE of the jobs i have applied for have anything to do with finances. My credit is sub-par b/c 1) i defaulted on my student loans (no longer in default, but this prevented me from having a bank account for about 4 years 2) I have not had credit cards for over 10 years. I do have some credit card debt, but nothing compared to 90% of my friend’s from college. The fact that my education is to blame for having poor credit, and for not being able to have a bank account, let alone credit cards, is ridiculous to me. If some would-be employer wants to penalize me for getting an education (which they do anyway – you’re overqualified, we can’t hire you)…oh well. But it seems to me that’s it’s a no-brainer that getting a job might actually improve someone’s credit. Not everyone who has bad credit ran up massive credit card bills. I was simply stupid enough to go to college.

  2. I like Illinois’ law…I felt the same way about credit checks in regards to employment that I felt when drug checks started up in the ’80′s. I can, at any time pass a drug screening, but I don’t believe it’s right to test someone for drugs unless one of two criteria are met: First, if they do work that could endanger others if impaired, like a surgeon or pilot. I think there should be SPECIAL laws regarding those type of individuals that they not be allowed to drink OR use drugs, and if they do they lose their license to do these jobs. Second, if someone injures another or injures themselves at that point they should be tested. But otherwise, if I’m a secretary at a real estate office, what I do on my off time is my own business.

    Ditto with my credit score. Unless you’re trusting me with the keys to the safe, what business is it of yours what is happening in my personal life? Because, let’s face it, with exceptions like above, our credit score to a great degree reflects our current personal and professional life. Great job, great marriage, your credit score is likely to be higher. Unemployed, going through a divorce or relationship breakup, traumatic injury, these are the number three reasons why people don’t pay their bills. Lazy is actually far down the list, especially as we get older.

    Sorry, I get long-winded. Employers need to understand that those that work for them are not perfect, that instead of looking for someone that looks good on paper, they need to do the kind of legwork that they used to do before hiring an individual…call up their references – ALL OF THEM. You’ll get more information from voice tone and how they say things (forget what they say, no one will tell you anything negative for fear of lawsuit) than you’ll ever get from a credit check or drug test. But that’s just my two unemployed cents!

    • A friend and I used to work at the same place, and we were two of their best employees. Constantly had high records, had customers who would only come to us, etc. However it was not a good company to work for. Long story short we both quit on the same day before our shift started because we had a job offer somewhere else. It didn’t pan out though because the medical office we went to lost lost the pre-employment drug test. I mark on my job applications not to call this job, but she never did. When I recently got a second job and she and her mother lost their house I recommended my boss interview her since she badly needed the job.

      She is a stellar employee. She’s motivated, hard working, independent, and good with customers. She interviewed well and passed the tests and was hired on the spot. She didn’t mark not to call this past job though and they said some bad things about her when called for a reference and the job offer was rescinded. She called HR but nobody will tell her what was said, and neither will the HR at the old job. It isn’t that people aren’t afraid to say bad things – THEY have the protection, it’s just that usually damage control has already been done by the applicant. We quit that job in 2007. She still hasn’t found work because of it.

      • really kris…. i think her problem would be the fact that you two quit without two weeks notice. why should you be able to hop right back up when noone knows when you will leave them.

      • You both quit the same job, before a shift on the same day. Unless you were somehow in danger by working out your last two weeks, your behavior ‘at that time’ seems malicious no matter how miserable the job was. Marking a not to contact box generally will throw up tons of red flags to anyone hiring, as well as completely leaving a job off of your resume depending on your length of service. If I get the idea that you don’t want me to know something about a past job, in an interview, you are pretty much guaranteed not to be hired. I’ve made exceptions and usually regretted it. Considering how you left this job, a standard question “Would employee X be eligible for rehire” could have been enough to sink her on a reference call. This is not the fault of the company you worked for, this is your friend’s fault for leaving the job the way she did. You speak of her motivation and work ethic, but don’t seem to mind her (and your) ability to quit a job on a dime…

        • Actually, when hired at some places at the bottom of the application it states “You have the right to terminate employment at any time, and the same for the employer. Therefore if it dose not state that the employee has to give any kind of notice what- so-ever. Come on how many companies are going to give the employee a termination notice unless that employer is going to lay people off. Due to this if a person leaves w/o a notice is fine due to the fact that no where on the application dose it state or say you have to give notice, it merely states either the employer or employee can terminate their employment at any time with or w/o any type of reason. It is called employment at will.

        • Jeremy, one thing you hadn’t considered in your comments is the fact that employers DO NOT have to give an employee notice of termination. And today’s hiring practices generally state an employee “does not have to give notice” to quit a company.
          I do think, however, that using credit checks as a means of employment, obtaining insurance, etc., is not good practice. For one, it creates a bigger financial burden on someone who is already experiencing one. I’m willing to bet that checking a potential employee’s credit and depending upon that information totally in making a company’s decisiion is putting a whole lot of confidence in the credit bureaus, which only report what is given to them. They do not check out the information prior to listing it in one’s credit check profile (it’s your responsibility to keep your credit up-to-suff and it can take years to get erroneous information off your record). I have had really good credit and really bad credit.. neither of which would determine my abilities to take on the responsibilities of a position with a company (and never did).
          If a company has the policy to deny job offers to people who mark “no” where it asks if the company may perform a credit check automatically denies them, then it’s the company who is going to pay a heavy price.. and I’m sure many have. Excellent credit does NOT make a viable employee.. it just shows they’ve handled their finances more appropriately because they’ve had better income. And, that’s all it shows.

    • Denise Painter, don’t test for drugs? What you do in your personal life doesn’t concern them? WOW. Get you off the street and the world would be a better place. Don’t have kids. We dont need any more nasty rugrats. That was your boyfriend charged for rape, wasn’t it? But who cares? It’s your peronal life.

    • Denise, perhaps I misunderstand you, but are you saying that surgeons and pilots should never be able to drink, even when say, off duty? Is there exception if they are on a week long vacation. Why is your job so lowly as a secretary, that you have more personal rights than they do?

      While I agree with the general sentiment that what you do outside of work should be your own business for ALL employees, it is far more complicated than that. Some drugs can have lasting impairment long after they have been imbibed. It is far too late for a business to act only after somebody has been seriously injured because of an employee’s ‘not on the clock’ actions. Addictions to drugs, including alcohol, can also make people behave in ways you wouldn’t expect, if they need money to support said addiction.

  3. Frankly, I know that looking into someone credit or background isn’t going to tell you much about the evolved life that individuals live daily. How about the mother who had to stop working because she was diagnosed with cancer and lost everything she ever had? She filed bankruptcy but couldn’t keep up with her payments and NO ONE was their to help her. Why should her credit matter. Life is life, and it doesn’t matter how you could or could not handle finance; at one point in life you could; however, life does happen. That being said, we may as well not allow the government to take our taxes considering they are in debt and can’t handle money well; how about not paying taxes and let whoever who passed the credit check handle the deficient without our money. What about that part? What about the company who does credit checks (wasting money), criminal checks (although I semi understand that), and references (I have known an individual to lie to people just because they didn’t like that person which had nothing to do with their performance). People are people and performing background checks, credit checks or references makes me think these companies are trying to play God considering He is the only creature who can judge anyone, past or present, but I might just be wrong considering I am just a “gamer” in the real world monopoly game.

    • i agree with you kenneth! circumstances are different with each individual.
      just because you have bad credit doesn’t mean you will steal from a company or not care about your job. nor does it mean you will not be responsible.
      look at people in (CEO) position in the past and present. stealing from big companies, mishandling money…etc. whether you have good credit or bad
      credit. it all sums up to the individual being honest and responsible.

    • I’m sorry, but I just can’t completely follow your logic on this. While I do agree that credit checks probably go too far, how can you only ‘semi understand’ criminal background checks. As someone responsible for hiring, I certainly wouldn’t want someone with a history of theft taking care of any aspect of finances. Whether right or wrong, companies have been found culpable for hiring problem individuals and not sufficiently screening candidates. As far as reference checks, anyone who is lying about a candidate because they do not like them is not very bright, because if caught, they would pay dearly. I would say, more often then not, a job reference will color the truth to the benefit of the jobseeker. What does the average business care if the lazy or untrustworthy employee goes to work for a competitor? What I find the most distressing is that you don’t think anyone should judge anyone at all. This is great in theory, but how would this work in the real world? You wouldn’t care if your surgeon has a history of alcoholism, or if your cab driver has multiple DWI’s? How about your child’s teacher being a sex offender? Sorry, I just don’t get why we shouldn’t be held accountable for our actions in the here and now. If I screw up, I SHOULD have to deal with that, at least with regards to criminal behavior.

  4. It’s already been said by the above posters about how employers who use a credit check as the basis for determining the type of employee they are hiring.

    So, if someone is denied a good paying job that would have helped them get back on the healthy track of financial repair, and has to settle for something substantially less- it just continues the vicious cycle. That person can’t get caught up because they can’t earn a decent paying job, insurance rates can go up because the insurance companies then assume they are a higher risk, making it even harder for that person to ever catch up- much less get ahead.

    So, then maybe that person just gives up and files BK– Instead of trying to fight the good fight when nobody else wants to give them a chance, it would be easier to start over even with that blemish on their credit report. I know that’s what I would do if I couldn’t see a way out.

    My problem is student loans and they won’t ever go away (until I die or go off the grid). I don’t make enough to pay them back, and so the debt just continues to climb because Uncle Sam says its legal to keep adding unlimited fees and compounding interest to do so.

    How about them apples???

  5. I feel that credit checks in this economy is unfair to those who are stellar employees, but were laid off through no fault of theirs and are now faced with bad credit and no. It’s a vicious circule. You have no job; therefore, you don’t have enough money to pay your bills, you don’t have enough pay to pay your bills (credit goes down the drain) because you don’t have a job. If we took a look at people with bad credit it would show that it most likely was because of loss of job in the recent years and not because of past credit history. Let’s have a heart and give people a chance to become good employees and not discount their value because of some bad credit reports. It could be you in that same situation!

  6. The Department of Labor which is funded by tax dollars should be used much more like a National Union helping to negiate legislation and employment laws to protect the American Worker from Preditory Capitalism. Why does my GOVERNMENT not work for the American Taxpayer who funds it? I feel that there is too much room for the haves to see who doesn’t have and keep them there. Pay based on what you have or don’t have is not fair and leads to oppression. Pay should be based on your job performance. Capitalism wealth or lack of will become a means of defining who we are instead of a complete person. I am much more valuable than the some of money or stuff! No to credit checks.

    • This was an outstanding reply…as well as another one a couple of posts’ before…we pay taxes yet are not protected…let alone the fact that we still have to pay them…wtf? Backwards! But hey we all need to have someone take our orders at the drive thru!

  7. ONCE YOUR DOWN DON’T WORRY SOCIETY WILL KEEP YOU DOWN. BAD CREDIT,HIGHER INTEREST RATE SO YOU HAVE A HARD TIME PAYING PAYMENTS ON YOUR CAR AND HOUSE.THE REASON YOUR TRYING TO GET A BETTER JOB IS TO BETTER YOURSELF.THEY WANT YOU TO PAY HIGER INTEREST RATES SO THE CAN MAKE THERE MONEY . I SAY NO TO CREDIT CHECKS YOUR SKILLS SHOULD BE THE DECIDING FACTOR!!!!!!

    • I absolutely agree that credit checks should be voided. It is not fair to anyone that they should be denied a job because of this. What about some one us who have gone through bad divorces. I shouldn’t have to be punished for this. And no ones credit should define who they are. That is a unfair assumption on their part. And the fact that the economy is so bad, at this rate no one will get a job. Credit checks should definately go.

  8. I agree with you TM…I had an excellent job with the missile defense agency until last September…The reason I was laid off…Bad credit.I could not get a security clearance to press on with that type of work.I have no criminal record,an honorable discharge with the Marine Corps.,3+ years of accredited schooling in aerospace procedures & repairs,over 20 years of experiance working with aerospace products/equipment…The kicker is that I cannot get a current credit report from 2 of the 3 credit reporting agencies (Equifax,Trans Union).So,this makes it impossible to dispute or repair bad credit….The other thing that ticks me off is that everyone (except me) seems to be privelaged to view My credit report…When I was informed of the reason of my job loss a year ago,they asked me about creditors who reported negative marks on my report….Those marks were erronious and should never have been on the report….I feel that these type of things are the cause of many of the problems of the dwindeling economy we are now experiencing.To fix the economy,we must fix problems like these,FIRST!Sincerely,MRM

  9. I am a 2 time cancer survivor and my first husband left me after my first cancer crisis. It was devastating to my finances. My second cancer illness came 17 years later, still single and having to continue working while being treated. As I have gotten older and had other health issues, I’ve always maintained my strong work ethic inspite of rapidly rising health care costs and it’s impact on a single persons wages. My credit is not good mainly due to deductibles not covered and testing that does not fall into what is covered. It should not have any affect on my ability to do the job I am applying for. I recently was hired by a new company and I am waiting to hear if my credit will keep me from doing the job that I am well qualified for… time will tell.

  10. I approve of the credit check idea. That said, I do not think that it should be the ‘final’ determiner. In my opinion, if all seems well with an applicant, yet the credit report shows ‘questions’, then I think that questioning the applicant ‘can be’ useful. Credit reports do report ‘results’; but, they do not explain the life issues that put the person at that place. Yes, some are indeed negligent, foolish, etc. Some matters could also be due to family medical surprises, poor judgement in buying a house at an unprepared time. Granted that Negatives are never pretty, but, the question should be ‘have they learned anything since.

    • James –ur a idiot- probably one who has never had a tough life and has good credit… I think its a shame that our entire world is based on a credit score. I know so many people who have taken hard blows- through no fault of their own, when it came down to feeding my kids or paying a bill, I fed my kids-that makes me an undesirable canidate for employment? I dont think so. I think that it is profiling, and by not getting a chance at a good job, you keep that person in the same cycle that cannot be broken..

    • dont forget the ceo criminal and drug and credit since the ceo seem to be the problemslie cheat steal this is the american way if you have these fine points your in. SCREW american people

    • The credit check problem should simply be to just verify you are who you say you are…they should be allowed to look into the whole of a person’s credit…in other words a credit check for employment would physically look different than a credit check to purchase something…which is what I originally thought the employer credit check was…lawmakers have been getting too carried away…maybe we should take our capitols by force…ohhh…I forgot…we’re also not allowed to resort to violence…that’s reserved for those already in power…so they can stay in power…another cluster f*%$

  11. Rock bottom. No Solution in site. Vicious cycle, no solution. No job, no money. No money, no economy, 0 population, no more problem. Just start over.

    • No to credit checks and to back ground checks. Neither one of these has one thing to do with the ability to a job. Most jobs are min. wage for most people and those two bit jobs dont need any kind of check. The system has let to many people in high authority have far much to power over peoples lives. They all should mind their own business. My personel life is no business of theirs. Personally, I’m tired of all the bs the system tries to do screw up everybodys life. So no to any kind of check on a persons personel life.
      Thats the hard thing about business, its hard for people to mind their own especially the government.

    • I disagree with the whole credit score/credit evaluation process for hiring. I have had a financial job for over 16 years and almost lost my job due to a poor credit score. My husband became ill and required 2 surgeries and was out of work for over a year. With the rising cost of just living expenses, I was the sole means of support. I also had to keep up with medical coverage that cost me $300.00 every 2 weeks so that my husband could be covered for his illness. I currently have no health insurance and the illness of my husband resulted in his disability. My bonding company dropped me and I had to beg to be bonded by another company who charged an outrageous premium just because of my credit score. I have been a stellar employee for all these years and have been audited with no black marks on my record or need to use the bonding company for any reason. But because of a change in health (not even mine by the way) I can still lose my job. IS THIS A FAIR PRACTICE?
      Thanks for listening.

    • THis practice should indeed be illegal. ones credit has nothing to do with how one behaves at work. Nor does it have anything to do with ones honesty, just becuase one was unable to pay debts does not mean that they were taken with that intent, that is the only reason that someones credit could have anything to do with their handling of company money. The other impliction, that becuase someone has bad credit they are more likely to steal is simply a spurious arguement. People might argue that as “logical” but I would really like to see the studies that show people with bad credit are more likely to engage at employee theft and embezzelment. In my experiance that has not been the case.

      • Nick,

        You raise valid points, not everyone who has bad credit is going to steal from a company. There are thousands of people in the work force who have bad credit, from major to minor credit issues, if every one was given a credit check, President on down the line, how many jobs would be lost? I’d say the vast majority of congressmen, senators, and those who work in positions of authority in the US would have some explaining to do. Credit checks do not give an ethical picture of the person, there are many reasons behind poor credit, this does not mean the person will steal from your company or trade secrets to foreign countries. These practices were put into place to keep the majority down while the few continue to jockey for a position in the ever tightening circle of Haves vs Have Not. The human factor has gone by the wayside with the advent of technological advances, shame our children may not have jobs because their parents credit is bad. Hmmmm, makes you wonder if this isn’t going to happen next. It is one way to control the masses.

      • I think we have as a society seem to think we know all the answers to everyone’s lives and struggles and we think a piece of paper with a bunch of numbers on it tells us that. I lost my job nearly 3 years ago and have now just started back full-time. I am one of the lucky ones but I had to move 1800 miles to find a job. Because my credit is bad doesn’t mean I am dishonest, a cheat or a thief. I had hard times. And when it comes down to it, would you rather feed your family or pay HSBC? Well I know what my choice was. And I know HSBC didn’t like. The same rules apply to business as personal, don’t borrow money if you expect to get it back. There is risk associated wtih credit don’t extend it if you can’t afford to to take the loss. When things are great, people are living high and mighty and paying credit and interest and fees, but the banks have shown time and time again their incompetence with money and the government bails them out. Think they will have a blackmark on their credit which prevents them from finding work? I think not.

      • Nick I agree; I think that credit checks should be done away with. A person could have stellar credit but once hired, not be a right fit for the company.

  12. Pingback: What to Expect From a Background Check : The Work Buzz

  13. Pingback: What to Expect From a Background Check « Job Search Engineering

  14. Pingback: Only Bangalore Jobs » Blog Archive » What to Expect From a Background Check

  15. Pingback: What to Expect From a Background Check » Techie Masala

  16. Pingback: What to Expect From a Background Check « Canadian Engineering Jobs

  17. Pingback: Freshers Yaar! » Blog Archive » What to Expect From a Background Check

  18. Pingback: What to Expect From a Background Check | Only Delhi Jobs - Delhi's Job Search HQ | Delhi Jobs

  19. Being someone who has worked over 15 yrs in the Accounting/Financial field, I don’t believe this should be a “deciding” factor. If an employer were to check my job and personal references, they would find that I am a hard worker and can be fully trusted with their money/finances. I used to handle over $100,000 in cash for a grocery store as their bookkeper for 5 yrs. I also worked 2-3 jobs, 7 days a week, in order to pay my bills. And my credit was not stellar. These days I fear this would not be the case, because people read the credit reports at face value and do not consider applicants at all. This is unfair to the applicant and the employers are passing up people who otherwise would be excellent employees. There is always more to the story…

  20. I think that is a disgrace that an employer can check your credit, and use it to decide if they want to hire you or not. There are many things in life that can cause one to have bad credit. What about companies that go bankruptcy, and that can go under a different name and open back up. Maybe the person that has a bad credit history, should be able to go under a different name to reestablish their credit? Another example, look at the banks that were given all those bailouts to start overagain, the list could just go on and on. This credit check thing needs to be stopped in every state.

  21. My husband and I have had five layoffs between us in the past four years. Our resulting poor credit is cited as the reason for me being denied a new position more than 50 percent of the time.

  22. Let’s keep it real, most people with bad credit are from a low socioeconomic class….just another way to keep people down….I have worked my butt off since I was 15 years old….I have 29 pages on my credit report…all medical bills. I don’t think medical bills should be on credit reports.

  23. Those in power…and by that I mean financial power (since they control everything including our government)…are destroying the middle class. The days of upward mobility and people working to improve their situation and their family’s finances are over because the deck has become so stacked against the average person. Credit ratings were created as a way to stick it to most average people. They don’t want you to even understand how they are calculated or to even have free access to the numbers, yet they use them to decide everything from employment to insurance rates. I would hope with the massive amount of unemployment in the past couple of years, these policies would have to be rethought, but I sort of doubt it. The money in this country will always put profits over people and the government is bought and controlled by corporations and the rich, so there’s little chance anything changing.

  24. Can’t see where a credit check would have anything to do with working. Sometimes peoples credit can be a mess due to no fault of their own. Take ID theft for instance orr a error on a credit report. These things happen.Those things can ruin a chance for a job. Especially if its just a laborers job. Experience and past employment referneces should be good enough.

  25. How about we the potential employee start doing credit checks, criminal checks, drug tests, and personal reference checks on potential employers. I bet there would be alot of people that would decide against working for that patricular company. I will say “NO” to credit checks espescialy considering todays economy when alot of people are in the same boat. It’s just another way to weed out experianced workers in favor of younger workers who have no credit history, and/or those that have rich parents who cover their bills. Another thought lets get rid of the “Employment at will law” which entitles an employer to terminate an employee without due process.

  26. I hear you can write a letter explaining the situation to be appended to your credit report? I do not know for certain, but worth researching.

    Some jobs do not rely on credit and should not check potential employee’s credit reports unless they are willing to take the time to subsequently ask the potential employee about why the credit is sub-standard for the next eleven years or so. Most Human Resources departments no longer seem to have the time to send out rejection letters (in spite of access to highly automated word processing programs and a little data entry a name and address), I say, no credit checks unless as stated by Illinois. I do not believe H.R. will take the time to question potential employees as most H.R. cannot even take the time for simple good manners.

  27. The policy of making a hiring decision on a person who is trying to better themselves based on a typically inaccurate employment report is a bad policy and is often abused by employers. Its somewhat understandable in a situation in which the candidate has a direct fiduciary responsibility to the employer. Everyone with damaged credit is not a threat; many of the most notorious spies in recent US history did not have bad credit, but look at what they did. They real threat is greed, so we need to pay closer attention to the real threat. You can bet that any threat to this policy will face a sttiff lobbying effort by the credit reporting industry, who is run by, you guessed it, the banking industry. Our congress will set policy base on the biggest political contributors.

  28. I agree with others about Illinois’ law. It makes sense. My son who is 24 got sucked into getting a credit card while he was in college and didn’t have a job. I didn’t want to pay the bill because I felt like that’s what Citibank expected to happen. However, now he has bad credit and has had no luck in finding a job. He had some medical problems and had to drop out of school for a bit and is looking for any kind of entry level job. He often makes it to the interview stage but then isn’t hired. He is an articulate, smart guy and I think his credit history is what is keeping him from being hired. How can he pay off his debt and improve his credit history if no one will hire him.

    I understand not hiring folks with bad credit for jobs that require dealing with lots of money but to work at a fast food joint or as a grocery store clerk, how is that relevant. And even further, for those who have been hard hit by the recession and lost their job which may have affected their credit, the only way they can repair their credit is to get a job. It really is a catch-22. But since so many folks are out of work, employers are able to be very picky about who they hire.

  29. When you are unemployed, you may very well get behind in your bills. Heck – you can have a job and be behind on your bills! On top of that, you may or may not have erroneous marks on your credit report that even if you know about them, it takes time, and money to get them corrected. It is not as if a simple letter will make them go away.
    Using a credit report as a hiring tool is wrong. Employers are not going to take the time and effort to question why someone has a bad score, they are going to eliminate people because of the scores. I can understand it if it is a financial job, but not as a rule of thumb.
    They should not be being used for insurance purposes either, what does my credit score have to do with how I drive? I know some people that are great drivers, without 2 cents to rub together, and I know some people with great credit, who couldn’t drive the on the right side of a one way street.
    It is just another way of discriminating against the less fortunate.

  30. I know several people due to the down turn who have lost jobs which caused them to have a bad credit report.Its not their fault and they are excellent trust worthy people who are hard workers,I say no to the credit check there are lazy,untrustable people out there with a good credit report

  31. Hi,

    POINT: Having less than pristine credit, DOES NOT MAKE YOU A CRIMINAL.

    How many rich celebrities and REAL ESTATE LEVERAGING, not to name a few, have filed bankruptcy and the like and they still get financing for additional projects.

    Also, how many companies go belly up and then open up another company under a different name. DOES THAT MAKE THEM BAD EMPLOYERS? No, it just means that they had POOR CASH FLOW MANAGEMENT and this can happen to anyone, HOPEFULLY, ONLY ONCE.

    Have a great day everyone!

  32. i feel they dont need to know this info at all unless u r working with there moneys.other wise they shouldnt have this right ,hire me for what im doing if it pounding nails or driveing a dump truck .hire me for me not my past

  33. as my being out of work for 3yrs(I am over 65), and having almost NO income for 3 yrs before that, has casued me to go from almost 800 down to 400+, has little if anything to do with my ability to perform succesfully in a job slot! It is criminal that n prospective employer(specifically the “HR” dept) should make these life altering descisions based on my credit rating. I am NOT, after all, asking them for a loan—just a chance to make a little money and do a good job!

    • HR departments often gather information in 2 ways. The facts about you CAN do are in your resume and can be verified through tests and such. The other information, usually discovered in interviews, are about your character and work habits, what you “WILL” do as an employee.

      Credit checks can neither determine your character or your ability. It is simply a measure of how well you can meet your obligations. Credit checks do not take into consideration, lay-offs, financially catastrophic events or the enviroment that produces the credit score.

      In short, Credit reports can only be valid tool to the limit of thier design and they were designed to do one thing, determin an individual’s willingness to repay a debt. Credit scores cannot be of use outside of thier intended purpose with any degree of validity and you can bet that someone, somewhere, will sue over this at some point. Even though HR is my chosen field, I strongly oppose the use of credit scores as indicators for potential employees.

  34. Credit checks, for employment, for car and homeowners insurance, for daycare…when will it stop. This country ran just fine before every Tom, Dick and Harry was able to poke their noses in our business…most people need a job, a car, a home and daycare to improve their credit score. It’s a terrible catch-22

  35. I, as an Employee have never given out my Social Security number on an Application, in the provided place I wrote “will provide on date of hire”. That eliminated any snooping into my credit history or potential Back Ground Check. As an Employer, I do not ask my employees for a Social Security Number because as far as I know (I was told during an HR Seminar) it is illegal unless you apply with a Temp Company or a Government Agency. Nobody can ask you for your Drivers License or Social Security Card on day of Application, so why would you put those numbers on a application. I ask my employees if they ever have been accused, charged or convicted of any crime and if they have a clean driving record. If I am interested in the employee I will ask questions during the final interview to get them to explain what happened, then I make my decision. Financial issues are not a problem, if somebody has been convicted of theft or receiving stolen goods, they are eliminated. Unless its something that happened 20+ years ago then I ask if that was a stupid thing and why they did it. Talking to people gets you a lot more info than looking at a piece of paper.

  36. I don’t believe credit checks can tell you the correct character of a person at all. People’s spending habits have a lot of different factors, including how they were raised and the economy.

    One of the companies I worked for did credit checks before employment, even though they didn’t use them as deciding factors on hiring someone. One of their employees had horrible credit and had gone through a bankruptcy but was one of the top trusted employees in the company. Another employee that was hired with a great credit score was eventually fired for stealing money – it makes one wonder if the reason they had great credit was because they stole the company’s money and could pay for anything they wanted/needed.

  37. An employee costs an employer a lot of money to hire so they have a right to know what kind of person they’re hiring, a responsible one or one who blows off responsibility. A credit check answers those questions.

    Why hire someone you know will turn out to be an unsatisfactory employee whom you will have to eventually fire because of irresponsible work ethics.

    • You will not find a person’s worth on a credit report. What happens in life if often caused by circumstance and not personal behavior. I guess you’ll never know if you’re not willing to hire them in the first place…..you just ASSUME they are irresponsible…explain that to the people who lose thier main support through death and illness or job loss.

      • I wouldn’t worry too much about a crappy employer doing a credit check. If the employer is too stupid to figure out how life works, they deserve to go under. lol

  38. I handle over 3 million a month in finances for my company. I have done this for 7 years. Had my company pulled my credit report, they would have not hired me. Fortunately, they are smarter than that. Just because your credit report is bad doesn’t make you a bad person. I have a very sickly spouse and his medical bills give us a bad credit rating, but that does not make me a bad person. I handle their money every day with no temptations. My credit is my business, no one elses, unless I am asking them for credit. Employers, insurance angencies, etc. have no business in my credit report.

  39. Absolutely none of their business – what an intrusion on my privacy! They don’t need to know what goes on in my life outside the office.

  40. I used to work in the banking industry back in the 90′s. Following my husband’s business failure, we were forced into bankruptcy in order to keep our house and car. Not long after, my bank was sold and each employee was asked to fill out a new job application to be considered for positions with the acquiring bank. This automatically meant a new credit and background check. I had been able to keep my financial problems quiet till then and I knew I would not be accepted by the new bank because of my circumstances. I switched careers in order to avoid the credit checks and I am now much happier and better compensated in my job. Do I agree with the credit checks? NO! I borrowed from family, did without everything but the basics, and put up with the collection calls. Hundreds of dollars went through my hands each day and not one red cent went into my pocket. I was an honest, organized, and reliable employee. Prospective employers should still do background checks but a person’s financial history is somewhat discriminatory and some things are not the fault of the individual. In my case, the source of my problems came from my husband’s failure which affected our total household finances.

  41. I was recently denied consideration for a job due to my credit. Four years ago my credit was outstanding. I was a mortgage lender making very good money and worked for the same company for 17 years. The mortgage crisis hit, yes 4 years ago, and I was let go. I was unemployed for about 7 months and finally hired as a temp. I’m a veteran, honors graduate from a major university, and my credit went down the drain over a 4 year period. I didn’t file bankrupcty because I couldn’t stand the fact of doing that. My wife and I have struggled since. When this job opportunity came up, I was thrilled, it was a well paying job that I was very well qualified. It was my hope that this would get me back on my feet. When the letter arrived that my credit was the reason I would no longer be considered, I was devastated. Here I am in my mid 40′s, great wife and family. I have no criminal record, my personal and employer references are outstanding, and yet that won’t even be considered due to my current credit situation. There seems to be no way out of this since employers are allowed to play by these rules. Hire someone for their qualifications, not by their financial situation. I wouldn’t be looking for better employment if I didn’t need it. Never in my life did I think I would find myself in this situation, but to say it is unfair would be an understatement.

  42. Yes, employers should not beable to run your credit when applying for a job. Just because someone may have a bad credit score does not make them a bad worker. Some people have just had some bad luck in their life and that does not make them a bad person. I do not have a great credit score and I am one of the most reliable woman I know. I love to work and matter of fact I work two jobs and excel at both. The companies that turn people away for having bad credit could be turning away the best person for that job.

  43. I believe your credit shouldnt affect you from getting a job. People go through hard times and sometimes has to choose whats more important. My light or my credit card… any real logical person would choose lights. I was turn down for a job at a credit union due to my credit wasnt the best. However the employer didnt take in to conclusion that in the past seven year each of my job closed/relocated to a new city.. This requirement shouldnt be vaild! Now a background check should be..

  44. Credit history should Never have anything to do with obtaining a job. How much money you have vs how much you have in bills is none of their business and in no way reflects whether you can do the job and be a responsible employee. It is just one more way to make people poor and keep people poor. Don’t the wealthy have an advantage already with money to pay for the best colleges and better references?

  45. This is “institutional RACISM” and it should be outlawed. Checking credit is just another way to DISCRIMINATE based on race. It may be an UNINTENDED CONSEQUENCE but it happens.

    Sure, it may affect both races but it certainly does not affect them equally. Hispanics and Arabs, who don’t believe in credit, have trouble establishing credit in the first place. Upper-middle class whites oftentimes are able to establish credit for their kids while the kids are relatively young, usually teenagers. Thus, by the time they hit the employable age, their credit scores can be disproportionately higher. Blacks suffer from higher prices across the board in their respective neighborhoods because of perceived risk (i.e. insurance) thus making their “cost of living” disproportionately higher increasing the chances of lower credit scores.

    Before you people completely write me off, just know that it happened to me. I had stellar credit but was passed over by a white male who disclosed to me that he filed Chapter 7 and actually bragged that he was able to keep his boat. We were in upper management in a very cash-intensive business and we both signed off on credit checks.

    So, evidently, how someone paid his American Express bill has no direct correlation to job performance. If you use credit checks to weed out the “irresponsible” from the “responsible” then apply the same rules to everyone.

    If the same rules aren’t being evenly applied, then outlaw those rules.

  46. In the middle of a very expensive divorce, I lost my job. In the process of trying to survive, my credit score plummeted. After applying to literally hundreds of jobs, I finally had an interview for my dream job. It would have literally changed my life. I was offered the job contingent on a background screening that included a credit check. I received a letter a few days later saying that the offer was rescinded due to a poor credit score. My work ethic, attitude, skills and knowledge have nothing to do with my poor credit. I eventually did find a job but at half the salary of the first job. Therefore, it is taking me far longer to pay off my debts. This makes absolutely no sense to me.

  47. I lost my job and was unemployed for six months with my largest rental unit empty for 4 months. Hello, my stellar credit score dropped drastically as I was forced to file bankruptcy and get a modification on my mortgage. I believe I did the responsible thing considering my situation. I had difficulty finding a new job and I believe a big part of the that was credit checks. I am a legal assistant and anyone of my employers will tell you how responsible and dependable I am, unfortunately, my credit score will not explain the situation in which it crashed, it will just make look irresponsible. Is that fair?

  48. my viepoint on this is extremely simple. checks should not be allowed for many reasons not exclusive of that is way more information than should be held by any PROSPECTIVE employer.

  49. Just because I have bad credit now due to a 9 month lay-off, does not mean I’m a bad employee risk. Why don’t they just start checking for marital problems too! After all, if you’ve been married more than once, obviously you are not settled down enough to hold a job. To many things are based on money instead of character. If I can’t get a job, I can’t fix my credit. If I can’t fix my credit, I can’t get a job. Where does it end?

  50. The big three reporting agencies?
    What a banking scam, just a way to make sure the well off stay on top and can take when they want, and the not so well off stay on bottom and be taken from.

  51. This practice can be helpful in some instances, I suppose.

    I personally lost my job due to a back problem in early ’08. My wife lost her job a year later in May of ’09 and we are in one hell of a mess, if they continue with this YEA or NAY, because of a “credit check”.

    Slowly but surely, we’ve fallen behind and finally had to surrender our home of 18 years and file Bankruptcy! You can just imagine what that has done to our “credit report”. Maybe that is why my wife hasn’t been able to find work? She’s not been told, that is the reason, but we all know, if a company doesn’t want you, they are pretty much open to do or say as they please, to get rid of you or NOT hire you!!!

    But they (the busuness’) control those making the laws, with their billions and billions in contributions……we all know that also. So what do you do?

    Signed: Falling Creadit Score, in Arizona

  52. I had a job offer retracted after a credit check was run, even though if I had known that a single late payment would disqualify me, I would have told them upfront why my credit was not stellar (divorce). I had ample qualifications for the job other than the credit problems which were not entirely of my making. If we applied that firm’s qualifications requirements with respect to credit, Abraham Lincoln and Walt Disney, to name two, would not have been qualified for that position (billing specialist). Ridiculous.

  53. In the aftermath of this recession/depression — call it what it is — widespread continuation of this practice will create a subculture, or new socio-economic group of “UN-EMPLOYABLES.” There are always people who for some reason have great difficulty finding work, even though they are willing, but not in the numbers that we are seeing now and will in the future.

    A few may rise to the occasion and become entreprneurs in their own right; the rest — a burden to their families and to the American taxpayers as a whole.

  54. my viewpoint is very simple. background checks should not be allowed for many reasons not exclusive of that is way more information than should be held by a PROSPECTIVE employer. its odd that the public has such a fit if they think their info is being tracked for marketing yet they rarely consider everything ELSE its being used for.

  55. Unless you handle money directly, a credit check is a breach of someone’s privacy, socioeconomic status and is wrong. It does not depict a person’s ability to perform a job. If companies/corporations are not willing to change, then they are a direct contributor to the sustenance of this recession.

    • I agree if you are not handling money it should not determine your getting a job or not. An employer does not want to know why the credit took a fall they just want to see that it took a fall. Life circumstances puts in situations we sometimes can not control. And you can not change them if you can not work. I know people who have bad credit that have are the best workers i would trust them with anything.

    • You are 100% right on point – you and Jennifer both. I would add that the unwelcome influence of the “credit” industry is slowly – and really not so slowly anymore – becoming a stranglehod on the individual in aspects of their lives in which the credit industry has no business. I’m seeing the future of this industry with power/influence akin to the IRS, if not greater. If the government chooses to allow this to continue, the individual must be given greater access and required responsiveness from the credit industry, with industry penalties – hefty ones – for both irresponsible and non-responsive conduct towards the individual, something of which all three of the “major” credit bureaus are guilty.

  56. I am quite disturbed by the fact that three credit scoring agencies have so much control over our lives. Your credit score affects your ability to get a job, your ability to get insurance, your ability to get lights at your apartment, your ability to get a phone, your insurance costs, etc. Many times I have had to “argue” something on my credit report that was completely inaccurate. It takes time to have inaccurate information removed from your reports. If someone steals your ssn it can be nearly impossible to get things corrected. Why are we using a “score” that can be manipulated by others for things like getting a job in this country? Personally, I don’t use credit cards. I don’t get loans for my cars – I save and pay cash. I paid cash for my house. My credit score is “hurt” because I choose to pay as I go. Why should that affect my ability to get a job? This is simply nuts.

    • Jennifer, that is because you are dealing with stupid people. They don’t know how to treat a FICO score of 0. They believe in the lie yet. You are on the right track and stick to your guns, you are better off for it.

  57. I definitely don’t think that it’s fair for an employer to check a credit report for a potential employee. I’ll use myself as an example. I have horrible credit due to medical bills and rising energy costs. However, I’ve had my job for 10 years and I’m a dedicated worker to my company. In this economy I’m lucky to have a job and don’t see any raises in the near future. I have no problem managing money. I manage my money as best as possible with a husband and two kids. But, if the money’s not there to pay the creditor, then it’s just not there. Do I pay the power bill or pay a medical bill? Hmmm…let me think! You can’t manage money that isn’t available to you. I’ve gotten freelance jobs on the side and I’m a serial coupon clipper. Until there’s more money to be had, I’m going to be behind on some bills and I’ve accepted that. But that doesn’t mean that I’m not going to pay them once the money is available.

  58. There are some of us that had good credit until it came time for our kids to head off to college. As a public servant who is in a job that is always underpaid (law enforcement) we struggled to make ends meet but by and large paid our bills on time. The irony is that even though we barely made enough to get by our combined income was too high for our kids to get assistance for school. Now that two of them are out of school and the youngest is in her 2nd year we are faced with a bad credit score because our debt ratio is too high. This debt ratio has no bearing on whether we pay our bills on time but it does drive down the credit score. As a result this means higher insurance rates as well as diffuculty in seeking other employment and retirement. Like most I don’t see any solution in site and of course this score has merit when it comes to my work history and ethics. Sorry just ventin…

  59. Employers have to protect their interests and their customer’s information. A person with financial problems is more vulnerable to being compromised, that’s why security clearances are not granted to individuals with financial issues.

    The employer has an absolute right to use this as a determinant in selecting a candidate if you don’t like it don’t apply for a position at a company that chooses to use credit checks as part of the hiring process

    • Hey mr. Rock, I worked with a person who had excellent credit but stole from the company. So that is not always correct. There are wolves in sheeps clothing. Now explain that to me?

  60. Anyone with good credit generally has a job. Many who have been without a job for any length of time have a better chance of having some type of credit problem. So….what does running a credit check going to prove? What we already know? Also, many companies have background checks….including your driving record. Where will it end??

    • I was without a job for 9 months. As a single person with a mortgage bringing in less than $1,000/month on unemployment, things were tight. However, I’d set myself up beforehand by making good financial decisions (not purchasing beyond my means), so I didn’t get behind on any bills. Credit checks are a-ok for employers in my book, regardless of the economy.

      • Ok Amber,

        Come back and talk after you have been unemployed for a combined total of approximately 2 years in the past 8 years.

        Nine months of unemployment?? I managed that without breaking a sweat…

  61. Yes, this process is totally unfair to all workers. If my boss, who is the COO of a huge corporation were to be judged by his credit report, he would never be able to get the job that he has now! He’s always late on payments and his credit score is way lower than mine. There are too many circumstances (severe illness which cuts to the core of your finances) today that would make a lot of people’s credit scores much lower even though they pay their bills and do not spend excessively. All it takes is losing your job ONCE to ruin everything in your life. So to be fair to all, these credit checks don’t tell anything more than how you pay your bills. What the heck does that have to do with how efficient or intelligent you are???

  62. Yes, this process is totally unfair to all workers. If my boss, who is the COO of a huge corporation were to be judged by his credit report, he would never be able to get the job that he has now! He’s always late on payments and his credit score is way lower than mine. There are too many circumstances (severe illness which cuts to the core of your finances) today that would make a lot of people’s credit scores much lower even though they pay their bills and do not spend excessively. All it takes is losing your job ONCE to ruin everything in your life. So to be fair to all, these credit checks don’t tell anything more than how you pay your bills. What the heck does that have to do with how efficient or intelligent you are???

    • Amen to that!
      Most of the folks who have the very highest credit scores in the US, and likely the rest of the world, are those “respectable” business or entertainment people who often are the worst scumbags, criminals and chiseling creeps living! Most of the mafia kings had great credit scores, so did the “inside traders” of the ’80s! It mean nothing and shouldn’t even be a component of the decision.

  63. I think they should be used. Everyone on here assumes it is just your credit score being looked at. Credit reports as no different then the other background checks. Depending on the company certain things on the credit report may not affect hiring. It has been a bad few years, but if credit goes back most employers can make the connection–if someone has bad credit, missed payment or bought more then they could afford prior to the time they lost a job it will show. Some companies have qualifiers as to who they can or can’t hire. Honestly if you are the top candidate and the company wants you-they will make the judgment call. If you are one of five candidates and the company looks at a full background check (criminal, work, educational, drug, credit, etc.) , it is their right to rank and/or remove candidates who fail.

    • Who is Obama going to put back to work with “credit checks”.
      And, it is easy to have a bogus entry on a credit report.
      Ever try to get one taken off your history??
      It is un-American.

    • I can’t agree that credit checks are that important unless you are talking about someone working with finances or handling large amounts of money. Some people have bad credit and it doesn’t mean that they are unscrupulous necessarily. Should you have to have good credit to work retail jobs for example?

    • Personally, my credit is none of anyone elses business especially when trying to find a job. Unfortunate things happen in peoples lives that they cannot help and what that employer is judgng that possible new hire before they even know their performance level. Let’s put it this way- nine times out of ten the person who is doing the credit background check has problems with their own credit. STOP judging others just based on things that happen in other peoples lives especially when you do not know the ENTIRE circumstance behind why their credit became the way that it did. I would personally be more worried about my relationship with God and where I am going to go when I die don’t you think?

      • I am sorry but there is no need for moderation. I only speak the truth and no I have never been declined for a job based on my credit. If you choose not to publish my comments that is perfectly fine but it is time that people tell the truth and stop writing just what people want to hear and not the opinions of everyone and not just “The Chosen Few”.

    • I feel that in any employment and or insurance sould not be done being unemployed or how much your car is , no wonder we are in a slump ,this is corp and gov controlling your life

    • I’ve got a great idea!
      As soon as all up to date credit scores, of all company personel, are provided for all to see, I will provide mine!

    • Why would you say something like that? It is against the law to look into someone’s credit without permission. If you do not sign to have this done, but you have more qualifications than someone else who does sign a release, you are going to be mad. If this madness isn’t stopped then only fresh out of highschool students will get all the jobs. Even if they have no experience, they have real clean credit histories. Think about that MW.

  64. I am all for being fair, kind and forgiving. To a former drug addict that has straightened out their life, someone who mismanaged or was ambushed by their and the nation’s economy. BUT, you can’t discriminate FOR anyone without discriminating AGAINST someone else. So, do we want to reward overcoming mistakes MORE than avoiding mistakes? I have a bit of a problem with that, even while I respect those that do overcome problems.

  65. JOB SKILLS determine an applicants ability to do a job. Credit score/history has NOTHING to do with it! A good/bad credit history is not indicative of your ability to function in a certain capacity. It’s TMI

  66. Yes, this is totally unfair and should NOT be used! Injury, divorce, all kinds of things can mess up your credit score. It should not be used to determine how qualified you are for a job.

  67. Yes,

    Just because someone has bad credit it does not intefere with the fact that they need to feed their family.

    There are many reasons people have bad credit

  68. This is bs – a total invasion of privacy. I had to take a pyschological test for a lower echelon job – I knew then I didn’t want to work there, even though I’m no psycho. Next I guess employers will be wanting your health records. This is nonsense. Even if someone applies for a job handling money, there’s no telling if they might be tempted to become dishonest somewhere down the line. There is no privacy left as big brother is always watching. You can’t scratch your butt on the street without being on camera doing it!!! People get angry about this ! I think almost everyone hits the financial skids at some point – should it cost them a shot at employment? NO!!!

  69. Prospective employer credit checks for me when I apply for a job…..if it is legal–and it is—let’s start the credit checks on our elected officials…..they are applying for a ‘job’, aren’t they?………

  70. It was my understanding that Washington and Hawaii had enacted legislation that prohibits the use of your credit information when used solely for employment purposes.

  71. There has never been a definitive study that shows any correlation between credit reports and work ethic. The three major credit bureaus have convinced businesses that there is a correlation. The interesting thing is that there were three studies going, and the initial responses seemed to indicate that people with poor credit scores were actually as dependable or more dependable workers than people with higher credit scores. All three studies lost their funding, so I guess we’ll never really know.

  72. I think this is a ridulous practice. Of course, some of the people needing jobs don’t have a great credit rating. That’s why they are looking for a job, to improve their position in life.

  73. My company does not use credit checks to determine good candidates. Our experience has been the three credit reporting agencies report different scores on individuals. That means they are unreliable and bais scoring. We know that low wage individuals input the scores and are not concerned about making errors. The system is iold and needs to be eliminated. I see it as uncontitutional and a poor tool to determine how well one will work out in the work place. It’s not fair to Americans.

  74. Credit Checks are a valuable tool to determine how responsible the prospective employee is..

    Are they mature enough to make adult decisions re their fiinances?
    Or are they still living like a child and self-gratifying and immediate-satisfaction type of people?

    Not to mention that if the job requires a Security Clearance, they will not be granted one, as they are a risk if they are in debt or need money..

  75. I would like to see the credit scores of the people who are asking to see ours. I bet most of them are no better if not worse than a lot of the people who are looking for jobs…they just happen to have one.

  76. If an employer hires an individual, is expected to pay, provide a benefits package, and overall support the development of an employee, they have the right to inspect the entire background of that candidate.

    Since credit bureau information is protected, by law, no one with nothing to hide, should object to this inspection . I want to know if my candidate is a drunk, a drug user, or doesn’t pay child support. Such character flaws will directly affect future job performance. With millions begging for a job, why would I want to hire a flawed candidate?

    • You are wrong, just wrong. I was a GM for a fortune 500 company for 5 years. I ran 3 stores, an apx.400, and 000 sq. ft and had ultimate charge of 200 plus employees. I /my company, is not responsible for the bills of my employees. I am only responsible for paying them their due wages, and correctly by the way. When I hired someone I had 90 days, [which is ample time to observe work ethic and reliability of an employee], to decide to keep them on one of my teams. If I did not like their performance, I could/and did, let them go for any reason or even no reason, if that was what I wanted to do. Further I didn’t have to wait for the 90 days to be up if I could see there was a problem before hand, then I let them go then. However, I have very good judgment and hired, at least most of the time very reliable, honest and responsible people. The odd thing is this, and please think about it. I had more problems with people who were not financially obligated or burdened. They were the ones that by far called out more, came in late etc. They didn’t care because they didn’t have to worry about making their ends meet. On the other hand, some of my best employees were the ones that could hardly get by. They could not afford to loose their jobs, and were the first ones to step up to more hours if one of the others called out. I had very high expectations of all my employees and they learned that quickly, and they respected me for it. I was however not a monster. I also always gave them their just praise. I got to know so many of these people personally and about their lives, that I dare not judge. Their lives were not perfect, just as mine is not, but I taught all of them that they could leave it all at the door when they came into work, and they did. It was one of the best experiences of my life. I would never judge anyone because of their credit score, at all, period. I judged them by the performance they gave me, the commitment they gave me, quality of their work, ability to work with others and their ability to get through a very thorough interview process, which by the way, was my job. If you are an idiot that cannot hold a proper interview, or have good judgment, you should not be the one doing the hiring. There is just simply not all this “risk” for an employer, when we have plenty of time to get rid of the bad, with no ramification whatsoever.

  77. I think this is an unfair practice because the economy is not doing well and people who have never been behind or in default are now in this shape – how can you possibly hope to do better without a job. It should be against the law to do this – except – in cases of handling money – that is understandable however; as always people who would take money should be prosecuted.

  78. Oh by the way, it took me years to clear up a negative item on my three credit reports. The worst part is that the negative item didn’t even exist! I have also been confused with two other people in two other states who have the same name as me. I have never lived in those states. Credit reports are not always accurate and shouldn’t be depended on by a potential employer and cost someone a shot at a job. This is ridiculous. When our jobs are sent overseas, do they check the credit scores of those employees? I sincerely doubt it.

  79. Most credit reports contain errors. The reporting agencies have no requirement to be accurate. The law says that they must review errors that are reported to them, that is it. Until the burden of accuracy rests on the reporting agencies, credit reports should not be used for something as important as employment. They just contain too many errors and getting the errors corrected is too time consuming a process. Just ask a victim of identity theft!

  80. Here’s are primary reasons why credit checks are NOT a good measure of financial responsibility:

    1 – Credit scores/reports measure DEBT use…they are not an indicator of earning or savings…They also do not measure net worth. A person with a million dollars in the bank can have a perfect credit score or a lousy one and you would never know by looking to the bureaus. That million could be earned through hard work or fraud and you’d never know from a credit report.

    2 – Credit reports contain errors on a massive scale. Recent studdies have shown that more than half of all credit reports contain errors severe enough to cause a denial of a credit application. Although the law (FCRA) says bureaus are required to keep the reports accurate, they don’t correct things reported to them by consumers. And most of the time don’t even really investigate. They just run it through the automated eOSCAR system and compare what they have with the originating database. Most of the time an actual human being doesn’t even look at the complaint or even make a phone call. Courts have issued judgments against the bureaus over and over for failing to comply with the law but it is cheaper for the bureaus to pay the judgments than it is to fix their processes and do it right.

    3 – The credit bureaus take what furnishers say as Gospel. If you have a dispute with the furnisher of the information you can pretty much forget about getting it corrected by the bureaus. Even people subject to ID Theft have problems getting the bureaus to cooperate with removing fraud tradelines from their reports. Businesses can supply pretty much any info to the bureaus with near impunity and there is little chance of getting it corrected if the furnisher is stubborn about it, no matter the reason.

  81. I am just wondering do the companies that reqiure a great credit score pay all there invoices in less then 30 days ? Do they all have a stellar D&B ? Whats there customer satisfaction ratio ? BBB info ? Perhaps there customers should do a credit check on them before doing business. We rely to heavely on the credit reports in this country I for one want someone who can help my bussiness grow and be loyal and creative and dont give a damn what there credit score is Credit reports a raquet and a waste of money

  82. The credit check should stay in place. Many people think this is a bad tool, but it isn’t. It does the following:

    - Protect the company for any illegal practices from the individual.
    - Shows lifestyle of an indvidual’s responsibility.
    - Shows risk of hiring an individual that might walk away.
    - Its an unbiased look at an individual.

    People lie about committing a felony, or their life, or where they came from on applications, resumes, and cover letters. This check either supports or contradicts their stories. If you have bad credit for any reason, bring it up front during the interview, there will not be a problem.

    If you dont want your bad credit affecting your hiring, then be open, clear, consise. That is what makes character and allows your potential company see you for who you are.

  83. I don’t believe credit should be checked for jobs, home or car insurance either. I believe that is an invasion of privacy and allows insurance companies to pick and choose who they insure. Insureds with less than perfect credit must rely on higher risk policies and premiums.

  84. After being in acccident where I was rear ended at a stop light, my credit went to Hell in a handbag. I tried very hard not to let it but still lost the fight,the person who hit me did not have even half enough to cover my medical bills and yes they were very real.
    With the ecomony the way it is I became unemployed and am having trouble getting a job due to credit checks.
    I understand this if the person is handleing large sums of money like being a controller of a large co.
    It should be based on the job your applying for and the amount of responisblity of the job you have and even then maybe have another interview to ask about concerns.

  85. I work in payroll. I see who has bad credit due to garnishments and levies. I have some who aren’t reliable or productive, but I have more who are. Credit Checks alone can’t tell you. It’s “easy,” but not accurate. A little actual hiring research into the person will give you a better overall picture.

    I actually have some employees who work harder and sign up for overtime because they are trying to pay off their debt, or because they have a garnishment and they want to get it over with or take a few more dollars home from their check. I once knew an employer who would help his employees buy a house, because then he knew they’d stay (and he was right).

  86. I too think this is just bad business! Invasion of privacy? YES! As if being a residential mortgage originator in Mid MI wasn’t bad enough..I was with Countrywide Home Loans! So when BOA comes to the rescue, who do you think bit the bullet? and whose credit scores have suffered as a result of being unemployed for the past year and under employed for 2 years prior? Now try to get a position in my “chosen field”. I’ll be lucky to hang on to my home. Somehow I doubt Anthony M. is under the same stress. Again, we ALL pay for corporate greed: some more than others. p.s. I NEVER DID A SUBPRIME LOAN!

  87. I had 4 major surgeries and when I tried to get a job with a government agency (NASA), I passed everything except a credit check, because I had been out of work for over 4 years due to medical conditions.

    I even passed their physical exams and agility tests.

    They said that they could not hire me because my credit score was low and I could be a risk for trading government secrets for $10,000.

    What a great country we live in!!!

    Government secrets, our leader is a dumbass!!! That’s all I know!!

  88. This practice of checking one’s credit score is nothing more then a way to discriminate against a job hunter period. Every state should make it illegal and stop this at once. Not everyone worships at the all mighty FICO Score alter.

    You would be surprised how many millionaires/billionaires have a credit score of 0. You can’t get rich being in debt and using credit cards. And don’t hand me the lame excuse that you need a credit score to buy a house, car etc, you don’t. It’s a myth and we have been led over the years to believe the FICO score cures all. Bull shit…

  89. I think they should be abolished. Why else would someone want to get a job? To pay their bills, right? Everyone should have a chance to better themselves, and getting a job, right now in this economy crunch, would tend to make us better taxpayers and help the economy. Politicians should listen to the taxpayers and not try to better their pockets. This country needs better leadership and not what we have now.

  90. I still cannot figure out why an employer needs to know such personal information. Their only concern should be if you can do the job and will be dependable. My credit score is none of their business and an invasion of my privacy.

  91. No, I don’t think its fair. I had a boyfriend that I found out in the last year or so of our relationship, stole my credit. When I found out, I left with my two children, and while the courts are dealing with all of this…I cannot find a job. So I am on government assistance with a glowing resume. I have never stole from a job, my references are stellar from my previous employers, and am willing and able to do most anything. Yet not one employer in two years of putting myself out there, has called me back after I apply. I think employers should look at all qualified employees, and then ask for documentation of them working on their credit. I can give them every court paper I have showing them that my credit is not mine, but I dont get the chance to do so.

  92. It never should have been used in the first place. Just because a person
    has bad credit does not make them a thief. And the fact that it is used for jobs that have no access to finances is insane.

  93. Sooooo…..What if someone who is already employed experiences bad credit while employed with a company, are they fired because of bad credit? No way does a bad credit score show wholly the character of someone.

  94. I think it’s ridiculous to judge a person by their credit score. My credit is not great but I’ve had supervisory positions most of my adult life. These positions were given to me based on my WORK ethic not because of a credit rating.
    What about people just coming out of high school who want to work> If they don’t have credit or a proper credit score ,then they’re not qualified. Just another reason our economy is in the tank !!

  95. While I understand the need in limited circumstances, I recently tried to fill out an application on line for a part-time job at Petsmart. Before I could even know whether I would get an interview, let alone a job, I was asked to provide my social security number and to give permission for a credit check. For $10.00/hour or less, that’s ridiculous. I told them so, refused to give the info, and my application was bounced back as incomplete. Oh well…

  96. People on here who say it should be used probably have never lost a job due to lay off and had their pay cut in half trying to figure out whether to pay bills or put food on the table! Until you have been there best not to judge..credit checks should not be done for a job, everyone needs a job to survive in life, to have a place to rest their head, feed themselves and their families…it is the main thing in life that really matters! Plain and simple! And PS… I work for a corporate company and have for years, I have never been denied a job for credit but I have sweated bullets worrying if I would be. However, doing the job and knowing who would be a great canidate, my employer has denied well qualified people for their credit! I know they have because it was someone I knew very well, a single mom who has a degree, who worked for large employers all her life and whose credit went bad because she got laid off and had to decide to feed her children or pay her credit cards with unemployment checks…what would you have decided???? All I have to say is that credit checks for a job is by far the most ridiculos thing I have ever heard of, maybe the people who make these a law should walk a day in the person’s shoes…then lets see how they would handle it!

  97. MW, that would be a great idea if people actually did that. They usually don’t though. The credit check is a quick, easy procedure that they’re using because they’re looking for quick, easy answers. It’s very unlikely that they’re actually going to look at the report to discern affects them as a company on the report. I don’t know of any companies that have a policy on credit checks as to what they’ll consider and won’t (although they might do that on an individual basis, but mostly it’s just a good/bad call).

    How much do we want employers to know about us? We don’t tell our best friends how much we’re paying a month for our mortgage, but our boss can know? That’s an intimacy level most people aren’t comfortable with. And credit checks could cross the line of things we employers are not supposed to know or ask because it could lead to discrimination on other grounds. If they look at the credit report, they can figure out some stuff.

  98. This is another symtptom of “zero tolerance” thinking, or should I more correctly say, AVOIDANCE OF THINKING. It provides an easy, formulaic approach to making a decision and is very low risk for the decision maker. It absolves them of responsibility if something turns out less than perfect.

    Evaluation of employees should only be so simplistic, and the employer that practices credit checks as a material factor in hiring decisions is doomed to be overtaken by the competition.

  99. What about all the CFOs and bank execs who FAILED to do their job properly and were fired?Are they more “worthy” of employment because they have a good credit score? This is nuts!! STOP THE MADNESS!!

  100. NO! NO! NO! Running a credit report is the most intrusive invasion of privacy and should not be allowed. Should not even be up for discussion and anyone that thinks it should be allowed is a bona fide retard. I do not allow these checks when filling out an application for employment for it is voluntary. Now with that said let me find out that I am not being hire as a result or that they ran it anyway. It seems this is my only recourse at the moment until the elections cause anyone currently sitting and running for election will not be voted for. Thank God

  101. All credit checks for any purpose should stop. They are an invasion of privacy. On top of that the credit reporting agencies fail to take into account circumstances which are beyond the control of the debtor (such as job loss or health problems) while they are trashing his reputation. It’s an evil enterprise.

  102. I bet Lou Pearlman also had good credit. Madoff and Pearlman both ran their own businesses though. I think this falls under invasion of privacy myself and they should not be allowed to even ask permission to check it. When will the blue collar worker ever get the respect they deserve in this so called free country?

  103. I have been a business owner twice (successfully), managed firms and divisions for others and been involved in personnel management as well as having obviously hired and fired many employees over the years. A credit check was never indicative of the character nor the abilities of an individual.
    It does provide small insight into a candidates life and practices, but such reports are so outdated and full of errors they are virtually useless. I did them, but did not rely on the results solely. I discussed possible questionable indications from the reports with the candidate and checked references, etc. to obtain the entire picture. At NO time would I ever decline to hire nor dismiss any employee on the basis of information in a credit report, unless other references, criminal records or past performance in my firm also indicated major problems. Should credit reports be used? My feeling is NO!!!! They are an invasion of privacy, unreliable and irrelevant in most cases. The practice should be outlawed! Medical Records use in hiring should also be outlawed!
    Do it the old fashioned way: Call references, call past employers, contact neighbors and friends and most of all, rely on your own skills to recognize a person of character and responsibility when interviewing face to face! Tough, yes! Worth it? Yes!!!!

  104. I have an excellent work history. I have never been fired, reprimanded, or suspended. I have received recognition on several occassions from all employers for quality customer service, attendance, and I have been considered a valuable asset to the corporation however, my credit score sucks!. Yes it is because of my lack of judgment on a business venture, but that does not mean I am unworthy of employment, a promotion, or that I am untrustworthy. When we use obscure means to define a person or their ablities, we as a country are in big trouble. Credit scores are not just limited to a loan or finanical means, they are used for employment and to determine your rates on automotive insurance. What else will they think of to use this score for. This has got to stop or the unemployment rate will never go down and qualified people for high paying jobs will be greeters at Wal-Mart or flipping hamburgers at McDonald’s. Contact your representatives, this is an election year. Ask them if they would consider writing legislation or support legislation that would end credit score use for means other than finanical and see what they tell you. This may determine who gets your vote!

  105. I was laid off in 2007 from a job that I dearly loved and a company that I trusted. Why? To add a tiny little bit to the bottom line to look better for a merger. This caused me to start making payments a little late which of course is reported to the credit bureaus. Subsequently I have been turned down for jobs and they specifically say that it is because of my credit report. Since that time, I have fallen behind in child support which of course is reported to the credit bureaus, I have fallen behind on my medical bills and I have fallen behind on my credit card bills. All of this makes it harder and harder to find a job. While I was gainfully employed, I had a pretty good credit score. Not perfect but far from bad. I could easily get loans and access to money if I needed it. Now, 3 years later, still not working I couldn’t get a loan to buy a pack of gum. Now because of child support, I face losing my drivers license and jail time not to mention the incredible damage that it has done to my relationship with my daughter. I spend almost $300 a month for prescriptions for a whole host of medical problems. The odd jobs that I do I make around $1500. My child support is $580. Do the math, I’ll never get out of debt. My salary before I was laid off was nearly $7000 a month (we went through our savings in about a year). People wonder why there are so many suicides in this economy? A lot of it goes back to whether you can get a job and pay your bills. Want to hear irony? I recently interviewed with the company that laid me off. They called and said that because of my poor credit, they would have to pass.

  106. I think way to much emphasis is being put on credit scores and in way to many places. Allowing potential employers access to credit scores and reports can do more harm than good in that it will only give an employer an excuse to not hire someone who is trying to make improvments in their lives, especially in todays economic situation. It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to see there is a terrible circle of activity started that has no end unless a law is passed to keep credit information in check. Forcing prospective employees to undergo a credit check for a job is unamerican and in the case of someone being denied a job because of it, obstructs that persons pursuit of liberty and happiness.

  107. Credit checks have gotten out of hand and privacy isn’t private any longer. I have heard of the gossip that goes on from person to person that has done a check on anyone. Small towns and cities are the worse where too many people know each.THE EMPLOYER IS THE ONE WHO LOSES OUT NOT THE EMPLOYEE, so much, who can use of mouth of an employer to discredit–it is a two way street. History,credit, company should be checked out first by the employee before even putting a job applictaion to the employer==plenty of knaiving employers out there and poorly run companies,that the employers need to take a good look in the mirro rbefore they worry about the credit of an employee. I want to work for a honest successful company who cares. There are many employers who just USE employees. Turn over rate at a company is an indication of a lousy employer. CHECK THIER BUSINESS HISTORY OR ETHICS BEFORE THEY CHECK YOURS.

  108. Given the inconsistencies in scoring between credit agencies using identical agencies and the invasion of privacy represented by the inquiry, this practice should be illegal. I have high balances and no late payments, one agency says my score is below 600, another says it is 667 (I have been helping out my son and his family financially since they lost their house when he lost his job). The lack of consistency in methodology is frightening.

    The credit data, provided in a vacuum absent any of life’s information, is worthless and unreliable.

  109. I don’t think they should always be allowed to do a check credit ; criminal back grounds Yes! I also don’t think it isn’t fare to us who don’t receive government money; like food stamps SNAP and medicaid to be the last ones hired for a job because the government pays the emploer or allows extra tax credits by hiring these people first. I have been deneid many jobs that could had been carreers. I wasn’t a man, wasn’t a black man, wasn’t a black woman, wasn’t mexican, couldn’t speak spanish, and one time was fired beacuse I thought I was pregnant and told a co-worker and told I was hired at a bank and then either they new my medicaions that is comon; but said it was my credit that they told me I wasn’t hired after all and I was up front with them about my credit in the beginning. Now jobs cater to pregnant women more than they should. Now I believe my job is at risk and hrd to get new jobs because of my age. I still have people who depend on me. I was also denied credit because of being a woman, even when the law changed; I was still told my husband had to sign. I have never had that one break to excell to my potential, someone was already the bosses favorite or family member.

  110. yes employers should not use your credit rating for hiring, has nothing to do with your work preformence. Is it not the time to keep corp and govt out of your business, wake up people can you not see the take over of our lives!

  111. From a management/employer point of view, they are a great tool. If someone isn’t responsible enough to handle their own finances, chances are they will show the same lack of responsibility on the job.

    A credit agreement is a commitment. The creditor agrees to give them money or a service or a product and the applicant makes a commitment to pay within certain terms. If they are going to buy a TV they can’t afford and don’t pay the creidtor, after the creditor kept up their end of the bargain, to me it says they can’t keep their word.

    If an applicant has a lot of outstanding delinquent debt, you will also run into the risk of them being called at work and the risk of a judgment lien/garnishments. From an accounting persepctive I can tell you that garnishments are a real pain for the employer and if the amount isn’t figured correctly the employer can be on the hook, especially for things like tax liens and student loan garnishments.

    I also realize there are times when people have medical problems with no insurance. As an employer if I see a lot of medical debt discharged it is obvous where the problems lie. You are also allowed to add a comment to your credit report, and anyone going through a divorce or medical problems should add a note on the comments stating what the problem was and they have been paying their bills promptly for the last XXX months. While it doesn’t raise your credit score, it will more than likely be read by the employer.

    Like the article says they need your permission to check your credit. Background checks are not cheap. Like a drug test, the potential employer is only going to perform a credit check if they are going to offer you a job and passing it is a requirement for the agreement. You will know the employer is going to do the credit check when they call to discuss the job offer, and if there is something in your past like a divorce or medical debt that will show up, you should be up front with the employer during that conversation and telll him you realize a credit check will be done and tell him of problems he will find in the report and explain them.

    • Please provide the statistical data that supports as TRUE your statement that an employee “drowning in debt” is more likely to steal than someone with pristine credit. I would argue this is an inaccurate perception (true only to some) rather than a fact (true for most). In my 32 year career history (true I am only a working stiff manager within the HR area of the company), all kinds of people from all lifestyles steal from his or her employer. The studies I have read conclude your statement hasn’t proven itself to be true any more often than it has been proven false. The lesson I’ve learned? Credit score is not an effective tool to measure hypothetical future work-place conduct. Instead, it is used as another way in which business can legally discriminate against a job applicant candidate.

  112. Our own governemnt is in debt over a trillion dollars. They can’t manage their way out of a paper bag. If the logic is a credit score reflects on an individuals ability, then we should get rid of our current goverment employees. How many banks have failed, companies went out of business and major corperations had money issues??? The whole credit system is a train wreck. One example that pisses me off. Using credit check when searching for new auto insurance. My credit should have nothing to do with my driving ability.

  113. Credit checks are a necessary tool for hiring managers. If you have legitimate reason for a credit problem explain it upfront. Your credit report should back up your story. If there were no correlation between good credit history and job performance employers would not go to the added expense of checking credit! Anyone can have a hardship but a lifetime of irresponsibilty with paying bills can often lead to an irresponsible employee. An employee drowning in debt is more likely to steal than employee on a stable financial footing. I went through a five year divorce and maintained an excellent credit record. It wasn’t easy but it can be done. People need to take responsiblity for themselves and stop hindering employers or the employers will go elsewhere.

    • Hey Rich -

      Please provide the statistical data that supports as TRUE your statement that an employee “drowning in debt” is more likely to steal than someone with pristine credit. I would argue this is an inaccurate perception (true only to some) rather than a fact (true for many). In my 32 year career history (true I am only a working stiff manager within the HR area of the company), all kinds of people from all lifestyles steal from his or her employer. The studies I have read conclude your statement hasn’t proven itself to be true any more often than it has been proven false. The lesson I’ve learned? Credit score is not an effective tool to measure hypothetical future work-place conduct. Instead, it is used as another way in which business can legally discriminate against a job applicant candidate.

    • Hey Rich -

      Please provide the statistical data that supports as TRUE your statement that an employee “drowning in debt” is more likely to steal than someone with pristine credit. I would argue this is an inaccurate perception (true only to some) rather than a fact (true for most). In my 32 year career history (true I am only a working stiff manager within the HR area of the company), all kinds of people from all lifestyles steal from his or her employer. The studies I have read conclude your statement hasn’t proven itself to be true any more often than it has been proven false. The lesson I’ve learned? Credit score is not an effective tool to measure hypothetical future work-place conduct. Instead, it is used as another way in which business can legally discriminate against a job applicant candidate.

  114. My husband lost 3 jobs in 10 years, 2 plant shut-downs and 1 cut back right before it got so bad for everyone else. I work fulltime have for 15 years, pior that part-time. We also farm and ranch. We have sent/helped 4 kids complete college, 1 still working on masters. Helped 1 get his business started-very sucessful at this point. Own our home plus some rental property. Credit checks can not and will not tell the whole story of what happens in anyones family.
    Credit Checks do not show job perfermonce, job dedication, loyality, attendance record.
    Understandibly if you dealing with money, assests, funds IT could be taken into CONSIDERATION but not a determining factor. Same with driving record checks, I can see if have bad driving history that you “limited” on driving company vechiles, hazardous materials, etc.
    I am in education, my husband is in production/shipping and works sometimes 16 to 18 hours a day in the summertime with the farming.

  115. No one piece of data should be used to evaluate someone for a job. A low credit score MAY indicate a problem with judgment or character. It MAY NOT. Medical bills had been the #1 cause of bankruptcy in this country. I think as one of several tools, it can be useful. If an otherwise excellent candidate has a terrible credit score, it is reasonable to ask what may have brought about those circumstances. If it is due to divorce, medical problem, etc. that may be one thing. But what about the candidate who has just chosen to live beyond their means. These people do exist. It IS their fault for the low credit score. It DOES demonstrate poor judgment. It MAY be a reason not to hire someone into a position that deals with money. Credit checks are not totally good nor totally bad, they may contribute to getting a fuller picture of who the candidate is. Put yourself into an employer’s shoes for two seconds.

  116. Credit checks should be oulawed no matter what the circumstances ..it has zero with what peoples work ethic is . Its been my experiance in management that that people who have good credit are more likely to take from a company or do something that they shouldnt when something goes wrong in thier financial matters . I found that with damaged credit have accepted their situation for what it is and has found other ways to manage it. The only thing employers should be checking is if someone is reliable , capable , and that they are not a criminal . Outside of that its my opinion that thier credit is none of my business . Lets face it everyone makes mistakes , or anything can happen at anytime. The company’s that took bailout money from taxpayers, politicians , are no more financially responsible then anyone else that had damaged credit . So what does it really prove ? Its that type of thinking that has americans losing jobs , unemployment up , and company’s losing good potential job seekers !

  117. This is another tool used by businesses to punish those who may have fallen on hard times. The assumption in their minds is that bad credit equals bad morals. They couldn’t care less if someone had a serious illness, or lost their job and missed a payment, or had to declare bankruptcy. There was a time when references from a previous employer, and a willingness to work were all that was needed to get a job. When you have a certain political party encouraging businesses to out-source jobs, this stench of indifference, will continue to spread like a cancer. Kicking people when they are down now, is as american as apple pie. There are no more haves, and the have nots, but the haves, and the have been had.

  118. My credit was trashed many years ago after a failed business attempt. I learned something valuable during that time though; I learned how to survive without relying on my credit score. Once I learned that, I realized that I became empowered to take control of my own destiny. My failure was close to two decades ago and I never rebuilt my credit score nor do I ever plan to. I currently have a stable job that pays very well, I own several pieces of property, have paid cash for all of my vehicles, and I have a good sized chunk of cash in the bank. Currently, I have several different companies that would really like for me to come to work for them based on my track record. Do I pay all of my bills on time? Generally, yes, however there are some I choose not to pay. I recently cancelled a gym membership. I attended that particular gym only once in the last 12 months. Shortly after cancelling my membership, I began receiving the collections calls from these people “reminding” me that I had a two year contract and I owed them the balance and that if I didn’t pay them they were going to report me to the credit agency. I don’t care. My credit is trashed and I see no reason to continue to pay for something that I don’t use. I’ll save my money, thank you. Ironically, I might have considered taking out a membership there at some point in the future had they not got so pushy about this whole thing (it is a really nice gym) but now, in light of recent developments, I think I will chose another gym. I also refuse to pay a balance due on a hospital bill after the hospital failed to file the paperwork required by the insurance company in order to get reimbursement. The paperwork was requested by me and the insurance company but somebody at the hospital dropped the ball. I have plenty of money in the bank to pay this bill. That is not why I haven’t paid it. I simply see no reason why my money should cover the ineptitude of the hospital staff. Again, I’ll keep my money thank you very much.

    What does all of this say about me as a person? Well, if you look at my credit history, I look pretty bad. If you look at the rest of my life, I’m pretty darn valuable as an employee and very responsible as a person. Here is the interesting thing though. Think about the companies that use credit scores as a hiring policy. What are they saying about themselves as a company? To me, that says that they are more interested in how you appear on paper than what you can do. Now, ask yourself this, do you really want to work for a company like that? I don’t and I would be hard pressed to do so. That type of company is going to be riddled with far too many “do-gooder” problems. I bet they would have an Excel spreadsheet somewhere and they would want you to log every 5 minute block of your time during the day. Don’t worry about actually accomplishing anything real but do be sure you have an entry that shows how you spent each and every minute of every day. I bet they would spend more time focusing on dress codes than they would focus on customer satisfaction. I bet they would not be a good company to work for in general and I bet most of their employees are not happy with the company or their job. Management has lost focus of what matters in those types of companies and the fact that they are basing the type of person you are on your credit score shows just how far off target management is.

    Most people don’t realize that when you go in for a job interview, it is NOT a one-way street. You as a job applicant are also interviewing the company. You are contemplating a long term relationship with that company and just like choosing a relationship in your personal life, you should choose very carefully. So, if a company wants to check credit scores and base hiring decisions off of those, I say fine, let them. People like myself will probably not work for them, or at least will not work for them for very long and that is a loss to them. For me, this particular company is not the only game in town. I will take my skills and talent elsewhere.

  119. Employers are again looking for a stronger of two lessers to hire someone. If someone is looking you in the eye during a interview & saying i’m not here for statistics. Just need a job. Where are the jobs to even apply for? Nuts!

  120. Credit checks for employment should be outlawed except in the case of positions in finance areas. Too often, especially in the case of divorce or those who are single-parenting, caring for elderly parents, an ill chld or spouse, etc., it can be a very delicate balancing act to pay bills on time or to stay current. In most cases, this is exactly the type of individual I would want to hire – someone with the tenacity, faithfulness, and sheer determination to hang in there and get the job done.

  121. I argue that someone with perfect credit would be more likely to commit theft or fraud to continue paying their bills on time because their score is so important to them….

    On a side note, Does anyone else wonder if “our” credit score is what was talked about in Revelations as the mark or number of the beast? At this point you have to have a certain “score” or “number” to get housing, transportation and now a job.
    Things that you make you go…..

  122. A candidate for a job who has shaky credit can also be a candidate for a garnishee thereby making the employer make deductions from pay, forwarding to the creditor, etc., etc. all for gratis. Believe it or not employers have enough to do in human resources without becoming a debt collector.

    • Your statement regarding garnishments being a mandatory cost to the employer isn’t true in all States or in all garnishment situations. Most often, the Writ will include a provision to recap at least partial costs related to servicing the garnishment. With your logic, employers shouldn’t have to withhold Child Support and pay it because in fact, the Employer has become a debt collector.

  123. Its another form of discrimination and class warfare designed to keep certain people out of the workforce. Companies can not weed out candidates via race, gender or religion however with the credit check they keep most of the same people out with social economic warfare. Companies claim this is a good marker of a workers competence or trustworthiness but I haven’t seen any proof correlating this claim. One bad year, one bad accident one prolonged illness where people are forced to choose a credit card bill vs. their families health or welfare should not now nor ever be the basis of if you are hire-able. Poor is seems, is the new Black.

    • 40% of Americans get SNAP. This the same as foodstamps. If your entire household makes less than $1300 monthly, then you may qualify.

  124. Checking someone’s criminal background is abslutely a must. Checking someone’s credit history should be outlawed. The Credit History System is so flawed, it is outrageous. People with errors on their credit have to fight for years to get it off and then it still doesn’t make anything better. There are no checks and balances to that system. Companies can report things all the time that aren’t accurate and there is no system for making them stop.

    Have you ever actually compared your history from the 3 major reporting companies – most of the time they don’t even match. How right is that?

    It should be your experience, skills and education that gets you a job not whether you have good or bad credit. Maybe all of the HR people and the rest of the employers out there should take a look at their own credit before they pass judgment on someone else. You have no idea what a person has gone through to cause a “bad credit”. And you have no right to ask!

  125. No!!I’ve worked the past 5 years with same employer. In a right to work state. Altough everything has risen 25%+!! Our employer, woon’t even negoiate.

  126. I was just denied a position because of my credit. I was hired as a temp to do the job and when it was time to hire permanently I was told I couldn’t be hired because of my credit. Not only do I have to go through the embarrassment of not getting the job but I will be training my replacement. I was on my way to paying off my bills the DAVE RAMSEY way and never having to worry about my credit score ever again but now I am looking for a job again and having to put my debt snowball on hold. I will eventually get it done but will just have to wait a little bit longer.

    • Sorry Teresa. I know how you feel. I am about to be foreclosed on here. I would love to be able to pay off all my bills, but the Democrats won’t let me. However all these collectors think I have a money tree or I know all these people who can loan me money. I do know alot of people, but they in the same boat I am.

      • Democrats alone??? EVERY politician (that has a nice pay check and benefits for life) no matter his or her party affiliation, really understands the plight of the American Middle Class worker financially, emotionally, and socially through this melt-down. Credit checks to get a job are most likely a business-backed employer loop-hole (Republican). However, the fact that no one on Capitol Hill is screaming STOP – well, indicates to me my elected officials shouldn’t be in office. Perhaps then they could experience first-hand how difficult it is to get a job in America today when you are 50+ and haven’t been able to land steady work since January 2009.

    • Democrats alone??? ZERO politicians (who get a livable-wage pay check and benefits for life) no matter his or her party affiliation, really understands the plight of the American Middle Class worker financially, emotionally, or socially since this melt-down began. Credit checks to get a job are most likely a business-backed employer loop-hole (Republican). However, the fact that no one on Capitol Hill or at the State, County, or City level is screaming STOP – well, indicates to me my elected officials shouldn’t be in office. Perhaps then they could experience first-hand how difficult it is to get a job in America today when you are 50+ and haven’t been able to land steady work since January 2009.

  127. Yes, these credit checks must end. There is no correlation with someone’s credit history and work skills. If someone wants to do a criminal background check, that is fine; but to be nosey that is different. I hope all you employers read this comment because I am aiming this at you. I use to be in your shoes and I would never had pried into a potential person’s check history.
    Plus now, most people don’t have good credit histories. That is why they need a job. If more employers would take a chance on the qualified job seekers, then America might start moving again. I just wish that employers would quit looking down their noses and think how they would feel if they were in the person’s job app they are viewing. A background check does not include credit history. Whoever started that one needs to be shot, tied up and shot again.

    • “The person’s job application shoes” I haven’t had a job since Dec. 2009. I owned a store. How many employers do you think would hire me by looking at my credit history? 0 Duh!

  128. Whatever happened to an employer using his/her instincts when hiring people to determine the character of a prospective employee? The same question can be asked of asking the right questions during an interview or on an application. Millions of prospective employees have received glowing testaments from former employers with no mention nor reference to that person’s credit. They did a good job, irrespective of their credit rating. Practically everything in life is a crapshoot with a certain degree of risk involved. It’s a crapshoot for the person looking for a job as well – he’s not allowed to see the employers/companies financials. Did Enron open their books to prospective employees? A lot of employees would have saved themselves a lot of grief and money had they been allowed to see the cooked books and corruption beneath the interview process in that and many other companies. Many company names come to mind – Quest, Goldman Sachs, Lehman Brothers, etc. While a lot of employees were responsible for the collapse of these companies, the majority of honest employees weren’t, and had no idea of what was churning beneath the surface of these companies. When lookiong for a job in a weak or healthy economy, knowing a employers/company’s financial track record affords one the opportunity of looking elsewhere when an employer’s/ company’s bad credit is exposed. Thousands of employers/companies have bad credit. Bad credit is not solely an affliction of a prospective employee. If a credit check is mandatory for hiring a new employee, an available credit check of the employer/company to the prospective employee should be mandatory as well. Do I want to work for a person who can never seem to pay his/her taxes on time? Do I want to work for an employer who’s behind making his/her required personal/company credit card payments? Do I want to work for an employer who has to pay cash for merchandise? Do I want to work for an employer who who couldn’t make payroll on numerous occasions? Do I want to work for an employee who has filed bankruptcy or has bad personal credit? If an employer does’t want to hire someone for those reasons, the prospective employee has the same right to not want to work for someone for those very same reasons. It’s a two-way street. Both parties have something to loose – not just the company.

  129. There are all kinds of people that had excellent credit that stole everyone blind.
    But of course they were all corporate executives that makes it ok
    IE: Enron: Ken lay / WorldCom: Bernard Ebbers and the list goes on. But they had good credit

  130. The only thing Background checks do is keep you from applying for a much needed job. The reason that we are looking for a job is to pull yourself out of a financial hole. You are in debt because you have no job. You cant get a job because you have debt. This blocks all hopes for you ever getting out of debt and getting your financial life back in order.

  131. I think that they should STOP. I was rear-ended. I was off from work for a month and then release to work only part time. After two months of no being released to work full time. My job laid me off. It was about 1 year before I received back wages from the settlement. During that time everything was backed up and my credit got messed up. It had nothing to do with me not being irresponsible with my obligations. When you have no or little money coming in what are you to do. Creditors don’t want to hear that you been hurt or fallen on hard times. How is someone suppose to get their credit together if they aren’t given a chance to.

  132. Hey MW,
    I was well qualified for the position I applied. I don’t do drugs, drink, or have any sort of criminal background. When I applied, I made it very clear that the past few years have hurt my credit. It didn’t matter, I was taken out of consideration even though I typed up a lengthy reason as to why my credit is where it is. It didn’t matter, I was denied because of my score, not how it happened, not about job performance or my qualifications. If you think they are going to look at reasons and make exceptions, you are sadly mistaken.

  133. “A person with financial problems is more vulnerable to being compromised” NO, a person with no character or integrity is vulnerable to being compromised and a credit report cannot make that determination. That sort of “logic” is what perpetuates the escalation of the invasion the credit agencies have established in our lives. Bottom line they get to profile us and the result is higher interest on loans and credit cards, higher payments on insurance. It’s all about making money. We had a business in its infancy when 9-11 hit, we had ever penny to our name invested. We lived off credit for two years but continued to pay our 13 employees what little business income we brought in. Finally had to close down. Most of the biz credit was personally guaranteed by us. We refused to file BK and have been paying the deft off since. Our credit has been trashed because of it and it almost cost my husband his top security clearance. Fortunately an FBI agent interviewed him and he was able to explain it and show the financial arrangements we have with the creditors–he has to give them updates every 6 months to show we are still on track. Had we filed BK we would have wiped out the debt in 2003 and our bank accounts would be fat although BK could have cost the security clearance, too. But we are flagged as ” persons with financial problems who are more vulnerable to being compromised” It’s a scam to justify charging more money folks and if you think otherwise you should be profiled as being vulnerable to being a mental midget.

  134. Regardless of the reasoning behind using credit checks or whether they arean accurate guage to a candidate’s qualifications, there is one underlying factor that seriously bothers me about them. Whether intentional or not, it is blatant age discrimination. Young adults have very little credit, which as we all know, is worse than bad credit. Therefore, they are automatically slated to lose the opportunity for employement. They are also not commonly offered unemployment upon finishing school and with a terrible job market are not likely to be employed for a living wage job. Therefore, they are completely unable to manage their finances, and this is even worse if the person has student loan debt.
    The practice is completely discriminatory on the grounds of age discrimination and needs to be stopped. The nation’s youngest working-age citizens do not need another barrier to gainful employment.

  135. I don’t think employers should look into your credit score in order to consider you for a job. You never know what a person is going through in life that caused them to have a low credit score. I think past job performance and personality should determine a good candidate, not credit scores.

  136. Please contact your congress or representative and let them know that it is unfair to be labeled as a poor employee due to credit. The employers are making a characterization of all of us. They are mistaking the ability to pay with the willingness to pay. It should be illegal and I guarantee if it were put to a vote, it wouldn’t be close.

  137. I disagree with this practice. I have a low credit score simply because I don’t like to play the “make someone else rich for no real good reason” game. It has no bearing whatsoever on my work performance, it is an issue of personal choice for me. Luckily I don’t have a job where I need to have good credit to get hired, because I would be jobless and shortly afterwards homeless and destitute. That is not fair to me, just because I don’t want to make more money for millionaire credit card or bank executives does not mean I should not be allowed to work.

  138. A credit score has more to do with how much debt you have. The more debt the higher the score. If you fail to pay on a timely bases of those debts or fall behind for some unforeseeable reason then your score goes down. Someone else looks at your score it goes down. Someone steals your identity it ruins your score. Or if you choose NOT to be in debt by paying for everything with cash then you have no score at all. So for someone who chooses to have absolutely no debt in their lives, pays for everything with cash is less of an employee than someone who has lots of debt but is able to make their monthly payments on time (for now)? I think I’ll stick to paying for everything with cash and all those credit card companies can keep their high interest cards. I’m shooting for a 0 credit score!!!!

  139. besides that, if you are going to hire illegal immigrant workers who are nameless and faceless in our system and have no credit rating at all, a practice which is a crime for the employer as well, you can sure as hell hire people who have bad credit who are LEGAL citizens and have families who are LEGAL citizens who deserve an equal opportunity. Additionally, it is discriminatory to allow hiring of one group without credit checks just because they have brown skin, but to force credit checks on another group just because their skin is white

  140. Your credit score is not based on your S.S. number. Instead it is based on last name, first letter of first name and any similar spellings. So some one else can show on your report, that is what is wrong with credit scoring either for jobs or insurance.

    • I’ve gotten copies of my credit reports every time I got turned down for something and it’s true. There are lots of accounts, places I’ve never lived, and places I’ve never worked, on “my” credit report. And I can’t get them removed no matter WHAT I do. Short of die, be reborn and get a whole new identity…….

  141. I really don’t think they should do them. So when I was younger I was irresponible with credit cards. All of my current bills are caught up. A job that I was going to applie for said I had to have an excellant credit rating. What does my work ethic have to do with my past credit problems. I have had hte same job for 8 yrs and have never once had a problem at my job. shouldnt that count for something

  142. I allways paid my bills my wife did not. She is one of the people who caused this crash thanks to the Tn. state government and the abuse of a law being abale to write my name and wreck my credit. Government made this mess and they should clean it up. She abandon our marriage not me.

  143. Credit checks for job applicants is about as ridiculous as the credit scoring that auto insurers do. Because my credit took a hit when I divorced and then lost my job, I’m a bad driver. Dumb.

  144. Of course we should let employers run credit checks on us. We should also let them film us having sex with our spouse to see if any act offends them. Oh, let them tell us how to raise our kids too. In fact, let them tell us if we should even have kids!

    This is the same old crap corporate America has been trying to do to us for years. They do not want employees, they want indentured servants! For how long were employees hired based on the impression of the candidate and their credentials. Seems like the US did OK. But now, thanks to the credit scoring compnaies who have sold a bunch of crap to everyone, employers are now thinking that someone’s financial situation has anything to do with a person doing a good job. Not even in situations where an employee handles money does a credit score have anything to do with anything. Does a credit score tell you if a person is dishonest? If a person is unreliable? Screw the credit scoring companies. POWER TO THE PEOPLE!

  145. Credit checks should stop immediately. Since when does your credit score tell and employer how well you can do a job or what kind of person you are? It doesn’t! No I don’t need a Vias card, LIFE HAPPENS ON ITS OWN

  146. Under no circumstance should an employer run a credit check. No no no. I don’t apply to places who use that practice. What if you apply to ten places who all check your credit? That is very damaging to your score and can knock it down two to three points each time. That could mean a 30 point loss on your score. Credit reports are not an accurate account of who someone is. Many things can – and do – go wrong which can make somone look bad on paper. I strenuously say NO to this.

  147. I consider the practise an invasion of my privacy for one thing. My credit score has nothing to do with my abilities or my knowledge. The sad thing is that these employers who are not hiring people because of their credit score don’t realize that they are losing out on some good employee.

  148. I all ways paid my bills my wife did not.She abused a TN. state law and signed my name all over the place and wrecked my credit. So government has had a big hand in destroying the markets.I should not be punished buy others crimes.My wife abandon our marriage and money responcabilty

  149. There is a missconception on what employers use credit checks for. They are not looking at the credit score to determine to hire or not. They are looking at the size of debt the applicant is carrying and frequency of missed or late payments. Employers use this to gauge how much the person is likely to steal from the company or sell secrets to cover their financial problems. It also shows the person’s character, financial responsibility and organization skills. Case in point if the applicant is consistantly missing payments but has the income level to pay it shows lack of responsibility. You know they will check your credit report, so it is your responsibility to prepare for it. Being upfront and ready to offer explanations to negative marks on your report will go along way for them to put it all in the proper context. For some reason today people don’t think their history should matter, since the dawn of time your history has always mattered it defines how people view you.

  150. As a hard working,reliable employee,I disagree with this practice of credit check before hire. It’s B.S.. I have had medical issues for almost 20 that have resulted in numerous emergency surgeries (without ins.). Let me tell you,that is costly to someone in a position like mine. I work and I work hard, but,when your job has no medical,you accrue huge debt. I lost the opportunity for a good job WITH good benefits due to the credit check. Not a thing on it BUT MEDICAL BILLS.

    In this day and time,a credit check seems to be something that most have reason to cringe about. Does this make all of those who have fallen on hard times, due to the economy , unreliable? Can the mass majority of our working class no longer be trusted based on a CREDIT CHECK!? I think not. Potential employers need to pull their heads out of the **s’ . They will miss out on a lot of great people with the skills that could take the business to the next level. All because of what a sheet of paper says. I say there is more to a persons true character than this…

  151. Too much in life is dependent on credit reports. Legislation should be passed to protect the citizenary. The only way to stop this scourge is to make entities accountable. It would come to a grinding halt if either the reporting companies and/or the companies making the reporting were accountable for damages due to incorrect reporting. This would cost money and therefore change the present corporate practices. Presently, nobody is accountable but the individual as a victim. It is tantamount to blaming a murder victim for being in the way of the bullet. I am surprised with all of the lawyers out there, that there is not a whole industry cropping up to sue for these and other damages caused by incorrect, misleading, malicious and wrong credit reports. When you think of identity theft, layoffs, divorce and other ways that could affect your credit but you have no control over but can prevent you from obtaining your basic “unalienable right” to “pursue happiness”. Being a victim to misinformation DOES prevent this when society as a whole uses a flawed system with no accountability to determine peoples futures.

  152. The information contained in credit reports is not always accurate and the credit scores can be very misleading; therefore they should not be used in evaluating a potential employee. Employers overlook the manner in which credit report companies gather information about a person’s credit history and the rationale behind the formula used to calculate a person’s credit score.

    The credit report companies will accept reports from any company that wishes to file a report about the financial dealings they have with a creditor. They do not require proof that the report is accurate, and once entered into a person’s credit history, it can be very difficult to get the credit report companies to remove an erroneous report.

    The credit report companies use a formula for calculating a person’s credit score that takes many factors into account. Unfortunately, some of the factors that point to a poor credit risk (e.g., a low debt-to-income ratio and the closure of a credit card account) can also be true of a financially responsible person. The formula assumes that a low debt-to-income ratio is caused by a person not being able to get credit and that the account was closed at the behest of the credit card company. Thus financially responsible people are penalized by the formula because they pay off their creditors and close credit card accounts that they do not want.

  153. This is one of those crappy policy ideas out of the board room. Most of the very top Execs. who decide the bottom line couldn’t / wouldn’t pass background and credit checks that they expect employees to pass. Trust is earned, not squeezed from every molecule of the person who needs work. I was asked to take a job of screening managers and Jr. Execs. for working at a Bay Area Tech Company here in California. I agreed to accept the job until I was asked to take a polygraph and submit to a COMPLETE background and credit check. Being human, I was offended by the request, I said I would do the task under one condition, that all personal who receive a pay check, and have a ID card and entry pass code be subject to the same testing and credit checks. What I can tell you is, a big fight started in the board room a couple of days later and the C.O.O. retired, and the C.F.O. took a hike, and a hand full of managers decided to go else where. After I passed the squeeze tests, I started to test the 208 employees who had access to the building. I didn’t have any choice but use a random generated numerical list to test. As a result, 36 employees were let go because they had NOT passed the B.S. guide lines set up by the board. That being total crime report, credit and polygraph. The real story here is the 7 employees who filed a wrongful discharge action with labor law. After I was called to testify, I was asked if any one who didn’t pass the tests remained employed. I said yes. They were four board members, and the two managers. Less than a week later, a tort action was filed and the others who didn’t pass the testing were discharged. And the production went down overall soon after. Employees were leaving because of uncomfortable trust issues created from the policy. Do I think it was a smart idea, NOT unless it is a nation security issue. It is wrong for business to mistreat employees, bottom line. EMPLOYEES MAKE A BUSINESS…

  154. I have been denied employment for the last 5 years since I lost a job that enabled me to pay my bills on time. Since I cant find “gainful” employment, everything is past due and will continue to be. What am I suppossed to do? I cant even feed myself or keep up with utilities. The cost of living is almost the death of me. I’d die today except I dont want a county burial.

    As long as I am unemployed, my credit will continue to be unsatisfactory!!! I’ve been ripped off by consumer credit agencies cause they take most of what I pay for their fees…ROTFHLOL!!!

    Some of you out there dont realize if I had a job, I wouldnt need public assistance which comes out of taxes that you dont like paying. I feel If I get an opportunity to get back to work, I can pay my current bills and begin to pay my delinquencies.

    Is anyone hiring a fly catcher in the poop house? Where’s job security? Did it also relocate to India or China? NAFTA has put America is big trouble. We dont manufacture anything anymore, yet we buy foreign products that wont help our economy.

    Thanks Ronald Reagan, the trickle down theory has turned out to be a golden shower here in the bottom of the bowl!!!!!! I’m sober so if I get to go in the cup I can pass the test. Modern day slavery is upon us!!! Debtors prison is full of bank robbers who wanted to pay their bills!!!

    Free my 82 year old grandpa from Walmart greeting job. I need that job and he can watch the house so the repo man doesnt get the car while I earn $7/hr to pay for it.

  155. It comes down to choice. You have the choice to allow the company to run the credit check. Choose not to do it. Companies have this perceived power to use credit checks, but if all candidates choose not to allow the company to run the credit checks what are they going to do? Not hire anybody? So if you feel strongly about this then do something about it. Not saying this would be an easy task to get ‘everyone’ on board but maybe it’s time to get a grass roots effort to educate and communicate.

    For the record, I have declined to allow a credit checks for employment. Sure I lost some opportunities but was able to get a good job. You can also opt for a credit freeze which requires a pin number before anyone can access your credit information. This gives you a bit more control and may get you further in the employment process.

    • If you choose not to allow the credit check, most companies won’t even take your application these days. I am going to guess that if you put a freeze on your credit information the same thing would happen!!

    • I’m in total agreement with your recommendation to band together as well as your acknowledgement that getting everyone on-board would be tricky if not impossible. The Teacher’s Union fiasco in WI could possibly been avoided had ALL teachers Nationwide gone on strike until WI Teachers got what they wanted. Had no parent been able to send their kid school for an extended period of time, I bet the outcome would have been different. However, most people here in America are compliant. We bitch about the unfairness but would rather not get involved in the change process. Like you, I refuse to apply for positions that want to perform a credit check. Thanks for the tip about adding a pin. I’m ready to do something! Today, I discovered that my County government is now using credit scores to eliminate applicants.

  156. I don’t see why any company has the right to look at my credit history and see where I couldn’t pay hospital or had to drop this account or that one. And I don’t see how my abilities and job performance are correlated to my old mobile account from 2003. Or perhaps they merely want a look so that when they do turn you down they can use and sell your information? True story – I applied for a job at a Tommy Hilfiger store years ago. Instead of offering me a job they started sending me fliers and coupons. They still do to this day, even though I’ve written “return to sender” and “stop sending me this crap, your clothes suck” on the cards.

  157. Pingback: Credit Checks on the Job Hunt: The Debate Continues : The Work Buzz

  158. Pingback: Freshers Yaar! » Blog Archive » Credit Checks on the Job Hunt: The Debate Continues

  159. Pingback: Credit Checks on the Job Hunt: The Debate Continues » Techie Masala

  160. Pingback: Credit Checks on the Job Hunt: The Debate Continues | Only Delhi Jobs - Delhi's Job Search HQ | Delhi Jobs

  161. Pingback: Only Bangalore Jobs » Blog Archive » Credit Checks on the Job Hunt: The Debate Continues

  162. Pingback: Credit Checks on the Job Hunt: The Debate Continues « Sales and Marketing Jobs

  163. Pingback: Credit Checks on the Job Hunt: The Debate Continues « Job Search Engineering

  164. Pingback: Credit Checks on the Job Hunt: The Debate Continues « Canadian Engineering Jobs

  165. I recently applied for a job as Door Greeter at Wal Mart. I have a very good work history at every other job I have ever had. I even have recommendations from former employers and from friends. However, I was turned down for the job. Their reason? I have a poor credit rating. I tried to explain that the reason I want the job is to improve my credit rating.

    Allowing prospective employers to use our credit rating against us in hiring (or keeping) our jobs is only making it harder, and in many caaes impossible to improve our credit ratings.

    I read recently that Oregon has made this practice illegal. Why can’t the Federal Government, or at the very least, all the other states follow suit?

    People harp about new jobs not being created. That’s only part of the problem. The biggest problem is that we can’t get the jobs that are already out there!

  166. Might as well let the employers do what ever they want,the reason folks that have bad credit to start with is because of the crap wages most employers pay anyway.Soon no one will have jobs or credit so who gives a rats azz anymore.Let the employers rule the world lol.Look at general Motors stock holders should have done a credit check on them,look who got bailed out and look who lost everything vested.See folks the regular guy and gal is screwed.

  167. Checking the Credit Rating of a potential employee is an invasion privacy that should be disallowed. The poor rating with Credit might be because of a million and one situations besides been a poor judge of character or anything else suspected since in todays world anything can damage your credtit rating from one day to next for actions thsat don’t have anythiong to do with the charatec of a person.

  168. NO, the problem with this world now is
    totally unfair. This time and time people are loosing their home and everything and they can’t afford insurance and now you want to put more pressure on credit checks.

    Just a person trying to keep a job is showing they aren’t giving up or trying to live off unemployment.

    I think anyone who has had to file bankruptcy and been approved should have a ciurtsey on their credit report to start off good scores. They have paid and maybe with a year waiting period.

    The government is crazy they want to raise the age limit on Medicare and there are no jobs hardly and now they are talking about credit score checks to be available. I think the United States is trying to push people over a cliff.

    I understand why people take their lives and its sad they are being pushed to that point.

    Dont say people bring it on them self because there are people who have worked the same jobs for 15 years and all of a sudden they have the rug snatched out from under them.

    Its easier to give up now and jump off the bridge than to hold your head up and try to live the right way.

    If America wants to lower the population, then stop the law to allow more people here and let the people here that have been born here live in the country they were born in.

    • Hey, that’s what Australia says, “like it here or get out” Their motto is the ones born there are the ones they please. Immigrants move to USA and want us to bow down to them. (and so far it looks like we do)

    • I agree that when the American companies realize they are choking our economy and start to expand their company they will stop with the infamous credit check. To check someones credit when they are unemployed is oxymoron.
      The employer needs to look at how the potential employee is trying to improve their credit and if they do not hire someone they will not have a viable pool of potential employees to pick from, and they themselves will be in the same situation eventually.
      I will request their proforma sheets when I am asked about my credit. I wonder if they would pass the muster!

      • No, they won’t. They have 1,000 applicants for every available position. They’re doing this to weed people out so they don’t have to interview all 1,000.

    • NO they do NOT. Even if they did, the foreigners either come up with a social security number that’s “clean” by inventing it out of thin air and having a social security card printed up for them at some back-alley fake-id shop in some bad part of a large city; or if they’re here legitimately they get real ones from the Social Security Administration which ARE “clean.” Just-issued social security numbers have NO credit record, and as a “clean slate” employers and banks and the like are way more likely to issue credit and grant jobs.

  169. What does your credit score have to do with your employment? NOTHING!!! It is just another way for the company to find a reason to discriminate without citing a cause that is protected by law (Race, religion, etc). It is crazy, but until some one can craft a law that actually protects the american job seeker, those with alow credit score are out of luck and out of work!

    • I agree with you. The economy is getting worst as each day goes by. The gov’t provided billions of dollars to bail-out the banks. Why was the gov’t crying broke before all of this happened? The money has always been there. Also, now that I think of it, companies move aboard to save money while people from aboard come here to make earn money! There is no end in sight to this dilemma. How come companies can purchase dept and use it as collateral? My dept is a few thousand and I am willing to sell it off for cheap. Hello!!!!!!!

  170. Credit scores are used for control. Nobody should be able to check your credit unless you are borrowing money.
    Insurance Companies use credit scoring to charge additional premiums. It’s a tool to get more money. No credit is extended for insurance. Insurance is always “pay in advance”.
    Employers use of credit scoring should be illegal unless money is being borrowered.

  171. The Credit Reporting Industry is the single greatest scam and rip-off since Slavery. These companies collect unathorized data on every man, woman, and child without our direct consent and purport to “score” each of us on some arbitray method they invented from thin air. Did you ever sign an agreement with Experian, Transunion or Equifax? NO!! Using this imaginary data to rate employees is a farce. Employers should be prohibited from such sleavy practices. DO NOT STAND FOR THIS RIP OFF!! The credit report has one purpose, to price money you borrow (called an interest rate) as high as possible. Anyother industry would have long ago been shut down for price fixing. A credit report is simply a product crammed down your throat by unscupulous banks and lenders for no one’s good but their own. Using it for emplyment is simply allowing employers to be as sleazy as the banks that support this shameful practice. Slavery was banned for the same practices these Credit Companies now use. Credit Reporting should also be banned for the same reasons.

  172. I had recently retired from the military after 23 years. I had a run-in with a credit card company (which is no longer in business), which couldn’t be resolved and I refused to pay the remaining balance. Needless to say, I was entrusted with a security clearance with the U.S. Government, which my credit history never compromised my integrity. Upon retirement, I had applied for an IT position with a local bank in my home town. Due to my one and only misstep on my credit report, the bank refused employment. Although, this credit incident happend 5 years ago. I got a letter in the mail, stating that reason for non-consideration was due to my credit report.

    • If you have that letter in the mail, depending on which state you’re in you could file a lawsuit against the employer. The problem in most cases is PROOF.

  173. Another form of discrimination. In todays economy with job loss, state furloughs and hiring freezes. A lot of Americans couldn’t pay their bills or have health insurance. So late pays,charge offs and medical collections end up costing them their future too. How are Americans suppose to be able to get back on track and pay their bills if they can not even get a job because of a credit” opportunity”. Someone needs to file a civil lawsuit against an employer that denies them of a job because of a credit score when they are completely qualified for the job. There are plenty of people that have good credit that commit crimes,fraud and more. Criminal back ground checks and drug testing should be enough for employers. Credit pulling should be outlawed….

    • I agree. If you’re strug out on crack or meth or whatever, seems you’re more likely to steal from the company than if your credit sucks. People with bad credit have bills they need to pay. That’s why they’re applying for the f*cking job. Is the person a criminal, are they a druggy? That’s ALL THAT SHOULD MATTER.

    • In New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania and recently New Mexico and California, you can. It’s just that the burden of proof is on YOU that they denied you ONLY because of your credit; the minute you mention “lawsuit” (because to file a lawsuit the first step is to inform the defendant that they’re being sued) the first thing they will do is come up with a laundry list of other things that disqualified you for the job like references (lack of), work history (lack of) or gaps in employment. And even if you DO get past all that it’s a long, drawn-out process and takes years, during which you survive on, what now? You can’t file UN-employment if you never GOT the job in the first place……

  174. Personally, this credit score thing is a scam because each credit bureau possess different information about you based on who reports it and when. Secondly, the credit scores that are provided to the general public is completely different compared to the credit system a bank or car dealer would use. u advantage. However, I do agree that checking a person’s credit score should apply for businesses involved in finance and stocks because this type of screening will help assist on deciding on hiring a person. I a person presents a resume for a position in financing, but their credit report displays bad handling of their personal accounts, would you hire that person?
    Finally, to prove my point, why is it so hard to remove errors from your credit report especially when you provide documentation confirming the information was applied in error. Also, if the credit score means soooooo much, how the the economy get F_ _ Ked up anyway???? Because the credit score do not mean a damn thing. It was about making a dollar regradless of who you are or what type of job you have. It is another way to have control and to abuse it. If you don’t believe me, Just sign right HERE X____________________.
    The credit bureaus are a big scam and it is illegal. Now people are being profiled based on where you use your credit card. Imagine this, no credit you have a problem, bad credit you have a problem, good credit can become a problem when you don’t use your cards for a certain length of time. Here is where the credit card company lowers your credit limit. Damn if you do and damn if you don’t. “You can not win because you must always spend”
    CASE CLOSED!!!!!!!

  175. Jobs should not be checking out peoples credit as long as i show up for work everyday and what ever I do after work and my days off is none of my jobs bussiness, Problem with employers is that they want to control you like our Government,People your employer cant tell you what you can and cant do after work hrs, Its you freedom after work to do what ever you want so I say employers need to stay out of my personal affairs………………

  176. Unless a person actually handles money or has access to money, their credit shouldn’t matter. And then, I’m not so sure it matters. If someone can give me some numbers that corelate debt with embezzlement that’s one thing.

    What should be checked accross the board is a person’s criminal record. Businesses should be more concerned about whether Jos Schmoe is going to go postal than whether their credit is bad or not. Bad credit does not denote criminality or poor character.

  177. I think that credit checks should not be done as part of the hiring process. Period. Especially in these hard times, when the majority of the people have something negative on their credit report and jobs being so hard to find.
    Criminal background checks should not be done either unless it is for a particular job that would require it, such as an accountant handling a company’s money or a management position. IF they have to be done they should not go back further than seven years.

    • My bankruptcy was 8 years ago now and it’s still keeping me from getting things like JOBS. Even if they say they only go back 7 years they’re LYING.

  178. I think relying on credit reports is an unfair practice.
    I was actually offered a position at a corporate office of a MAJOR Insurance Co. I was even given a start date. 3 days before my start date, I received a call recinding the job offer because they found something negative on my credit report.

  179. I feel that credit checks on future employees should be banned in all states. They have nothing to do with the persons ability to do the job. a person may have the worst credit and yet be the most hard working, reliable, dedicated person that a company can employ. I dont think they should be done to get auto insurance either which AARP does before they give you a quote.

  180. People who agree with credit checking in employment obviously think that people drowning in debt from COLLEGE should go pay it off with the money that GROWS ON TREES or something. They’re just plain idiots who can’t see the big picture. And if I point it out this way then they get all “you made your bed now lie in it” about having borrowed your way through college in the first place when no one would hire you with just a high school diploma even part-time on-campus.

  181. I agree with what appears to be the majority of people here. Credit checks have no place in the job market, especially in today’s economy. I’ve worked for many small businesses. The individual credit worthiness of these people is laughable. They would not pass their own investigations. This practice is just another way to legally discriminate. I was layed off in JAN 2009. After a year of looking for any kind of job and burning through our savings to “keep my credit record pristeen”, in 2010 I filed for bankruptcy. Now, jobs that only required a degree now also require a clean credit check. I find this seems to be very prodominate in Management positions. Today, even our County Government applications are requiring applicants undergo a credit check. If they fail, they are pulled from the application process. To serve my govenment I have to have perfect credit? This is total BS!

  182. I was the TOP candidate for a position with a very large and well known company as a Facility Maintenance Manager.  Everything was going great and after 5 or 6 intense interviews with all upper ranking managers, supervisors and VP’s and with very positive feedback that I am the leading candidate, my credit stopped the process.  Needless to say, nothing I could say or do would reverse their stand.  Surely I was devistated and still am.  I cannot help the fact that a couple of businesses that where in operation for over 20 years before my hire, decided to sale leaving me with bills and no income.  So I get the dagger!  WOW, really got to love it!  Do you really think I am for credit checks for hire process?  I am at it again, interviewing process with another very large operation and the same type of position…we will see how it goes!  30 plus years of experiance down the drain because of my credit…really!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  183. This is a form of financial tyranny and must be stopped now. This practice is encouraged by the banksters to keep their sheep enslaved to the broken money system that is the Federal Reserves debt based currency system. It’s some pretty sick shit we put up with in this country.

  184. I do not agree with credit checks for employment unless you are applying for a job where you have direct control over or access to a significant amount of company assets.
    FYI though credit scores are not made available to potential employers. Just the credit report. Obviously one can estimate a score based on the report but for those of us who have no debt and do not use credit, for example, we have almost zero credit score but nothing negative on the report that employers will see.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>