Using credit history as a hiring tool makes no sense

No research shows any relationship between a person's credit report and their job performance or likelihood to commit fraud.

According to research conducted by the Society for Human Resource Management and reported on their website, 25% of potential employers acknowledged that a bankruptcy on an applicant’s credit report would most likely result in a decision not to make a job offer even though using a bankruptcy as a decision not to hire (or to fire or to refuse a promotion) is illegal under federal law.

Credit checks are required for federal jobs with security clearances, but six out of 10 private employers say they also check the credit histories of at least some of their job applicants, according to the survey.  Companies do so primarily to prevent or reduce crime, such as theft and embezzlement, the survey indicated. The idea is that people who have debt problems are more likely to steal or commit other crimes even though there is no hard evidence that links bad credit and bad morals.  In fact, there is no research to show any relationship between what is in a credit report and a person’s job performance or their likelihood to commit fraud.

Oregon, Washington state and Hawaii have already curbed widespread use of credit checks in making hiring decisions. Other states are considering similar laws.  A bill that would ban employment-related credit checks nationwide with a few exceptions for security sensitive jobs has been introduced in the U.S. House of Representatives but it appears that Congress will not act on the measure this year. 

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