Employers Check Credit Scores

Post date: Feb 25, 2010 6:28:23 PM

Foreclosures and Job Hunting Don’t Mix as Employers Check Credit Scores

February 24th, 2010

by Jacob Jenkins

Foreclosures and job hunting don’t mix as employers check credit scores. There are two fundamental problems in our economy today: foreclosures and the lack of jobs. The two go hand in hand, as it is impossible to keep a mortgage floating without a job, and so many of the jobs that were lost were due to the real estate market collapse.

Well, it looks as if those who have foreclosed on their home or a piece of property have one more worry to add to their list. Some employers are using credit checks to screen potential employees, and those with bad credit usually lose out to candidates with a better history.

This could seem contradictory to some, as those with lower credit scores will have to either pay more to borrow money or pay for their living expenses using cash. These individuals could be more motivated to work harder than their counterparts who have access to cheaper funds.

Such is the belief of one employment attorney, who told MSNBC that “…somebody who has lost a job and suffered damage to their credit score…[are] going to be a more motivated and inspired employee than somebody who hasn’t because they need the income more.”

Currently, employers can pull a job applicant’s credit report, but don’t have access to the actual score. If you are turned down for employment because of what is on your credit report, by law the employer must give you a copy of the report.

Proposed legislation to prohibit the use of credit reports in hiring decisions have been put through Congress and various states because there’s no real indication that someone’s bad credit score makes them a bad employee. The only legitimate uses of a credit report would be for hiring decisions in the financial services industry and for certain key employees with access to confidential data.

Any indication that less than perfect credit will adversely affect the chances of obtaining a job is troublesome. Of course, the best thing that someone can do is to make sure that they pay their bills on time and in full; however, this isn’t always possible.