credit checksThe state of Oregon is considering a bill I think is a fabulous idea. SB 1045 is titled "Limits use of credit history for employment purposes to certain circumstances," and it does just that: prevents employers from requesting credit checks to use as a screening tool for potential employees, unless the credit history provides a substantial relation to the employee's job (for instance, a bank teller or mortgage broker position).

As someone who's seen this issue from many angles: as an employer who checked credit; as an individual with bad credit looking for a job; and as an employer burned by unethical employees, I believe credit histories, instead of providing an employer with valuable tools, are loaded with pitfalls on both sides of the hiring desks.

Credit checks are frequently used to eliminate employees with bad credit histories from jobs. It's a shame, too, as a study released in 2003 by professors from Eastern Kentucky University showed no correlation whatsoever between credit scores and job performance.

Frequent inaccuracies in credit reports only make the picture muddier -- could you be granting a job, or excluding a candidate, based on information for that other Jeff Rogers? It's increasingly likely.

And then there's the recession. Unemployment, like almost nothing else, is a surefire credit destroyer. Is it the least bit sensible to eliminate a job candidate from the running for a job due to how extraordinarily available he is? It hardly seems human.

Stories abound; listen to any call-in radio show, read any blog post on the subject, and you'll hear them. Foreclosures begin when you've got to choose food and electricity over mortgage payments. Credit cards get maxed paying for breakfast, lunch, dinner and toilet paper; medical bills pile up when you've got the double whammy of unemployed and uninsured.

Sure, it doesn't look (umm) "responsible." But is it going to help the poor soul any to snatch away the job that could have restored his responsibility right quick? Don't answer that.

I worked, in my late 20s, for a company that provided direct marketing programs for car dealerships. One of our main products was a direct mail piece targeted toward people whose bankruptcy discharge date was a few weeks away. Fresh off a credit-walloping event and in need of transportation and a chance to rebuild credit, these consumers were a fantastic and eager market for anyone who'd promise not to care. (Helpful to car dealerships was the hefty interest rate they could charge.)

With great irony I'd hand out the forms to run credit checks on prospective employees. How could I judge these people? The worst of them would be our best customers' best customers. I never used the information, choosing instead to judge them based on how they answered my questions, and the questions they asked me.

Later, our company would suffer a betrayal from one of the management team. He took everything: the client database, sales training documents, a number of the company's employees.

I'd seen this man play fast-and-loose with the truth but I knew his credit score was great. He'd laughed about hiding most of his income from his ex-wife: he owned a few homes, a luxury car. At that point in time, he would have been a fantastic candidate for employment. Reliable credit history. Responsible homeowner. Yes!

And then there's Bernie Madoff, the poster child for critics of credit reports. How do you think his credit report looked [scroll down on that link -- you'll see a charge to on Madoff's credit card statement] in the middle of the last decade? If the bureaus could bestow a "platinum" rating, it would surely have gone to him. Look how that worked out.

Let's face it: the stuff that would flag a potential employee as someone who might run a pyramid scheme, steal your customer data, or embezzle from your company's bank account doesn't show up on a credit check.

Bookies don't report bad debts to Equifax; the poor ethical choices strewn in the path of a future criminal don't typically consist of choosing to buy food instead of making car payments. Why muddy the waters and trample all over what little privacy and self-respect potential employees might have? The Oregon bill is a great idea, and other states would do right to follow suit.

Increase your money and finance knowledge from home

Economics 101

Intro to economics. But fun.

View Course »

What is Inflation?

Why do prices go up?

View Course »

Add a Comment

*0 / 3000 Character Maximum


Filter by:

Do yourself a "HUGE FAVOR" and carefully read this:

The 21st Century Act: Final Amendments to Regulation CC Section:
"Prohibits" reimbursement of Credit, Loan, and Finance Balances to a "Bank Entity" leaving only "Nonbank Consumers" able to receive reimbursement, as specified on Pages 85 and 86.

The 21st Century Act states on pg. 85 and 86 that "Only Nonbank Consumers can suffer losses and File for
Re-credit or Re-claim on any Accounts under the Federal Reserve System" also “Any Second or Third Party Presenters utilizing a Banks Documentation, Contracts and/or Agreements to seek Claims shall be considered to be that Bank under the Rules and Regulations”, the Expanded Definitions also includes Credit Cards and Home Equity Lines of Credit.
Also on Pages 100 and 101 "In any Financial Claims the Indemifying Bank (Parent Bank) must be Identified".

(Left-Click to Search Link)
21st Century Act: Final Amendments to Regulation CC

This Federal Law signed January 1, 2006 makes it "Fraudulent" and therefore "Illegal" for the 3 Major Personal Credit Reporting Agencies: Equifax, Experian, and TrasUnion to allow the Banks and the Banks "Third Party Presenters" to place any claim of "Negative" or "Potentially Negative" Accounts on your Personal Credit Based upon the fact that they have no "Legal Grounds or Claim" to the Money.

This is an "Unfair Practice" that diminishes our Financial ability to support ourselves and adversely affects our ability to gain work in many areas which breaks "Antitrust Laws".

These Rules also back claims of: "Aiding and Abetting" Racketeering and Extortion (of Finance Accounts and Personal Credit Reports), Pandering (of Credit and Loan Accounts, and Conspiracy to wit), Theft, Fraud, Federal Mail Fraud, and Telephone Harassment. Also "Threatening of the U.S. Financial Infrastructure", which is a "Capital Crime".

In order to engage the Federal Trade Commission to act against this injustice we must File many Claims, as these Reports must be Filed by a large number of people in order for the Federal Trade Commission to pursue
"Legal Action".

(Left -Click to engage Email Address)

This is way easier than "Occupying Wall Street"!

March 11 2012 at 5:48 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

While I was looking for a credit report site, my firend told me about a site, that offer:

- 100% Free 3 in 1 Credit Report
- Credit Monitoring
- Fraud Protection

All in one...

I tried it and I'm so satisfied with them.I just wanted to recommend you that site:

January 12 2012 at 5:32 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply