Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Credit Score Punch!

"Employers' use of credit histories to screen applicants is turning into one more barrier for the nation's unemployed - about 15 million people - many of whom end up with tarnished credit when they lose a job and struggle to pay bills,credit cardsand household expenses."

Lorraine Mirabella, "Bad credit is blocking people getting jobs; Bill would limit employers use of credit checks for hiring," Baltimore Sun, March 15, 2010.

Seems hard to defend in our post-recession jobless recovery with more foreclosures a certainty. And, the 15 million is a low number -- doesn't cover long-term unemployed or low wage workers on the brink. Using credit scores in this way is one of those Catch 22s -- people want to work themselves out of debt but debt prevents them from getting jobs.

"Sixty percent of employers surveyed by the Society of Human Resource Management said they conduct credit background checks for job candidates, with most employers running checks only on selected candidates.."

This practice "has stirred a movement, supported by consumer and worker advocacy groups, to clamp down on credit checks by employers."

Good idea!

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