A recent survey found that more than half of all employers now use credit checks to help screen new job applicants. The thinking is that if you have a bad history of paying bills, or you’re in extreme debt, then you may not be the most reliable person to hire.
Now, a growing number of workers and legislators are wondering: Are those credit checks fair?
Consider what happened to Debra Banks. For weeks, she’d been told she was a leading candidate for a full-time job at a skin care company, then, her prospective boss ran a credit check. At the time, Banks had a large unpaid medical bill that had recently damaged her credit score. She says even though she had never done anything wrong on the job, and was often praised as a hard worker, the company hired someone else immediately after the credit check.
Most hiring managers believe basic credit checks are perfectly fair. But know this: So far, there’s never been any conclusive research connecting a bad credit score with being a bad worker. In fact, one New York lawyer says comparing the two would be like basing your job qualifications on your hat size.
What’s more, there are millions of workers who’ve been unemployed for more than six months. That means many people who’ve never had bad credit before may suddenly be falling into debt. By not giving those workers a job, just because of a bad credit score, experts worry that employers are creating a vicious cycle.
That’s why several states recently proposed new legislation that would ban the practice of employers doing credit checks.
What do you think? Have you ever been shut out of a job because of bad credit? Facebook.com/JohnTesh.