It can be a vicious and nasty circle. You lose your job, your bills fall behind, your credit score goes down and then you can?t get the job that you desperately need to improve your situation because your potential employer runs a credit check and you have bad credit.
It is estimated that as many as 60% of all employers conduct credit checks on their applicants and the number has increased significantly in just the past few years.
Employers justify this by saying that credit checks give them valuable information about a potential applicant?s honesty and sense of responsibility and that an individual who maintains a good credit history makes a better employee.
The problem is that most people don?t get bad credit on purpose. Nobody tries to get bad credit but things happen. People lose their jobs, they get sick, their wages go down, there are any number of reasons why someone may get bad credit and very rarely does it really have anything to do with how responsible or honest they are. The majority of people want to pay their bills on time and maintain excellent credit but life happens and it?s not always easy.
The fact is that if you don?t have the money, you can?t pay your bills and if you don?t have a job and you can?t get a job because you can?t pay your bills, you will never be able to get out of the mess.
Fortunately, some advocates and lawmakers are looking into this serious discrepancy that keeps people down. Lawmakers in at least 16 states are looking to ban the practice. According to the National Conference of State Legislature Connecticut, Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, Maryland, Michigan, Missouri, New Jersey, New York, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Vermont, Wisconsin are considering this important ban and two states already ban some credit checks, Hawaii and Washington.
While it is agreed that there may be some positions that would warrant a credit check, like perhaps driving an armored truck or a job where it would be easy to embezzle funds, for example, a bank or an accounts payable office for the majority of jobs a credit check just amounts to discrimination against people who have likely suffered enough in this time of economic uncertainty.
More States May Ban Credit Checks- The Salt Lake Tribune
State May Ban Credit Checks- The Chicago Sun-Times