Credit Checks May Hurt Job Applicants

By: The Associated Press
By: The Associated Press

It's hard to find a job in this economy, and now some people are facing another hurdle because potential employers are holding their credit histories against them.

Sixty percent of employers recently surveyed by the Society for Human Resources Management say they run credit checks on at least some job applicants. That's compared with 42 percent in a somewhat similar survey in 2006.

Employers say such checks give them valuable information about an applicant's honesty and sense of responsibility.

But lawmakers in at least 16 states from South Carolina to Oregon are considering outlawing most of them, saying they trap people in debt because their past financial problems prevent them from finding work.


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  • by Robert Location: Meridian on Mar 4, 2010 at 12:54 PM
    Furthermore, I have had a interviewer ask me about my college GPA. Also, soon more and more employers will not be hiring tobacco users and will test your urine to know if you use tobacco. Why? Because it makes insurance premiums that employers provide go up. The bottom line is that employers can weed out any activity or person that they want to. Although, they can not discriminate against your race, sex, religious beliefs, sexual preferences, national origin or anything like that. Outside of that they can hire who they want. If we don't like it, then we shouldn't work there.
  • by Robert Location: Meridian on Mar 4, 2010 at 09:46 AM
    You are taking this way out of context. I never said that your credit score is the only judge of character. I said it is one of many ways to judge character. I agree that people shouldn't borrow money except on major purchases like a home or auto. I love listening to Dave Ramsey on the radio and tv. We all need to be responsible. That means with credit or with any other thing in life. Actually, I did not bring up Jesus Christ. "Anonymous" did. Remember also that I didn't start this process of pulling ones credit report during the job application process. I only said that I agree with the practice. I have had employers pull my credit report, check my criminal record and had them check my urine for any drugs. I didn't have a problem with this because I am not a person who pays bills late. I am not a criminal and I am not a drug user. The people who have a problem with these practices have something to hide, I guess.
  • by KaDee Location: Meridian on Mar 4, 2010 at 07:27 AM
    Staying within the content of this article, Let say I am owner of a Travel Agencies. I have 2 agents with 2 vaccation packages available, but due to cut backs one agent and package must be elimitated. J.C. is my best employee he is always truthful, loyal, devoted, and on time. Satan however is liar, cheats customers, steals, a rule breaker. My company uses Credit Reports to decide which employee will be cut. J.C. lives a clean life w/in his means. He pays cash for all his Needs and Saves for all his Wants. Since He has never needed a loan or a credit card, his credit score is 000. Satan however is a high roller living the big life. He uses credits cards to run up large tabs at clubs and has a loan for a new BMW, which results in his credit score being 850. After reviewing their credit scores I regetfully have to terminated J.C. even though he in fact was of better character and a more trusted agent. Satan will now be booking your vaccation at his favorite Hot Spot! Enjoy your Trip:]
  • by KaDee Location: Meridian on Mar 4, 2010 at 06:07 AM
    Since you two have bought up Jesus Christ, the bible does not teach borrowing, it says do not be a slave to the lender. Borrowing does not show good use of your resources. Nor does it show good character, you should be saving and investing for your wants not using loans and cards to buy them. The bible teach us to be Debt Free and own no man only thing, so if you follow the bible to the letter you will not have a good credit score. Jesus Christ if he walk with us today would have Bad Credit. So Robert is it fair to say that going by your comments Jesus Christ, Himself would be of Bad Character?
  • by Anonymous on Mar 3, 2010 at 09:51 PM
    I understand that credit scores are pulled to obtain credit for a purchase. I have absolutely no problem with that. But, the basis of this article is not about that. This article is discussing credit scores being used in the hiring process. I also understand that there are millions of people who make purchases with intentions of never repaying. The fact is, those people are probably working in retail and food establishments. I seriously doubt McDonald's pulls a credit report on cashiers. I don't feel it is right to judge people and their character based on a credit score. I know of a minister who filed for bankruptcy and lost everything while trying to help his child that had unfortunately chosen the wrong path. He is still a godly, well respected man with high morals and integrity. Once you have problems financially, it takes YEARS to repair. No one should be judged on something that happened years ago. A credit score does not prove one's ability to do a job well.
  • by Robert Location: Meridian on Mar 3, 2010 at 12:10 PM
    To "Anonymous" or "Dee": As a matter of fact I have fallen on hard times a time or two. I just don't think that the fact that I fell on hard times gave me a reason to not hold up to my end of the bargain. Face it, we both know people who haven't lost their job and haven't had a dramatic event take place in their lives, but the person still is not responsible with credit! And if you really believe that credit isn't a sign of character then you must me living in some fantasy world. Why do car dealerships pull your credit report if it means nothing? They pay millions and millions of dollars every year just to look at your credit. Yes, their are exceptions to this rule. On a totally different note: I am so happy to hear that you know Jesus Christ. That is awesome! He WILL never put anything on you that you can't handle, but you must trust him in everything that you do. And if you ever need help just let me know. If I am able to help then I will. I am being serious, not sarcastic.
  • by KaDee Location: Meridian on Mar 3, 2010 at 09:09 AM
    I think the use of credit reports should be disallowed. The scoring system is faulted and does not show a true measure of a person. There are Good Responsible and Dependable People who do not have good credit scores. Example: A person who responsible refuses to use or have credit cards will have bad credit. A Person who saves their monies and budgets for a new car will have bad credit. Also always using cash vs loans and credits cards give you bad credit. Because No Credit is Bad Credit! Actually No Credit is worst than Bad Credit. Then you have other People who have had loans and credit cards who have become Victims of ID Theft, their cards have Max'ed out and their Bank Counts emptied. Do you think these 2 groups of people should be jobless. I think not. I had a credit score of 857 but then I closed all my credit card accounts and paid off my loans last year. Now my Credit is really Bad because I have No Open Accounts. Those interest sucking companies do not want you to be Debt Free!
  • by Anonymous on Mar 3, 2010 at 06:50 AM
    Robert- I assume I am the anonymous you are speaking of. Wow! I can't believe you would actually stoop to the level and bring my parents into this. My name is Dee. What does it matter what my name is? Just b/c you stated your name is Robert-does not mean I know you. There are several 1000's of people with that name in our area. I admit I was extremely upset with your posts. I thought maybe explaining others situation, that you might see how procedures such as credit checks can severly hurt job applicants who have once fallen on hard times. But, after much thouht, I realized that is pointless. You seem to be a cold and callous person. I have decided that the best thing I could do was to pray for you. If you have never fallen on hard times, I pray it never does. It is extremely embarrasing to know you can't pay your bills on time. By they way, I never said I did not honor my commitments. I eventually paid my bills. AND w/o a bailout from family, friends or the government.
  • by Anonymous on Mar 2, 2010 at 07:15 PM
    And how does that relate to being a bad employee? Your comments are about obtaining and paying credit. The article is about using credit against a job applicant. And just how do we know your name is actually Robert? Just b/c you said so, we should believe you???
  • by Robert Location: Meridian on Mar 2, 2010 at 12:49 PM
    Your parents must really love you. To give you a great name like "Anonymous", now that is love. Back to the issue. In the imperfect world that "Anonymous" lives in people can sign a contract with a creditor that says that person will pay this amount at this time and in this number of installments and when the customer doesn't do what he/she agreed to do when signing the contract it is ok. Maybe there is a line on the contract that reads something like this: "If you don't budget properly you don't have to pay us". Maybe the contract says, "If something bad happens then we will let you out of your commitment". I don't think so "Anonymous"! The bottom line is this: ABC credit or whoever doesn't care why the customer doesn't pay, they just care that the customer doesn't pay as agreed!
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