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Oregon Bans Credit History Checks by Employers

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The Oregon Legislative Assembly has passed House Bill 1045, which would prohibit the use of credit history for use in employment purposes (it was actually signed by the governor in late March). In other words, employers in Oregon cannot use the information they collect in a credit report to make am employment decision such as hiring, firing, or demoting an employee. The law, obviously, goes into greater detail but the writing on the wall is clear – you cannot use credit checks to make any sort of employment decision.

My take on this is that it’s about time a state stepped up and stopped this practice. Not many employers do it, only about 35-40% according to an Oregon Bureau of Labor and Industries spokesman, but that’s far too many.

The law does allow exclusions for:

  • Employers that are federally insured banks and credit unions;
  • Employers that are required by state or federal law to use credit history for employment purposes;
  • The employment of a public safety officer who is a member of a law enforcement unit;
  • Employers if that information is “substantially job-related and the employer’s reasons for the use of such information are disclosed to the employee or prospective employee in writing;”

If employers violate this law, employees or prospective employees are able to file a complaint and receive damages, compensatory damages or $200, whichever is greater; plus punitive damages.

We need a federal law mandating this so we can save state legislatures some time.

{ 191 comments, please add your thoughts now! }

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191 Responses to “Oregon Bans Credit History Checks by Employers”

  1. otipoby says:

    Wow, pretty heated discussion. I am on the side of letting businesses do credit checks. IF their is no correlation between good employees and good credit, then those businesses that perform checks are at a disadvantage (overlooking good employees and paying for the credit checks). However, I have read that their IS a strong correlation (don’t remember the source). People look at the publicly available financial health of the company when deciding who to work for, companies should have the same right.

    I do believe the the algorithim to determine the credit score should be more transparent.

    • Stan says:

      Obviously an IT guy who has not had his job outsourced yet. Algorithm gave you away. Another tunnel visioned view that does reflect current events. Pass data over the last 50 years does not reflect the current environment. If so massive housing collapses losing 60% of their value in many local markets would not have occurred either. Another out of touch.

  2. There are several congressmen looking to ban this practice. It’s one of the biggest drivers for credit repair. It’s also cruel, especially in todays economic climate.

  3. Jeanne says:

    There is no way your credit history should determine whether or not you get a job period. People suffer economic hardships that aren’t in their control and in many cases are trying to fix their situation by applying for these jobs. It’s a classic case of kick people when they are down. Don’t you think many of these people who have bad credit would realize they need this job to put food on the table. Maybe they would put that much more effort into doing a good job so they can in fact keep their jobs,knowing they need to get out of the financial hole they are in. Bad credit does not mean laziness or inabilitly to do a good job, I’m sure there are people with great credit who haven’t always made their money to pay their bills in the most honorable way. This new law should be passed in all states in my opinion. A person who is dedicated, honest and hard working is the right person for a job, not the one with the best credit. I’m sure many who sell drugs or do other illegal things(and are never caught) have great credit and can pay their bills, but is this someone you want working for you? Credit history should be private and those who think otherwise need to realize that God forbid one day, they can wind up in a situation where their own credit goes down due to circumstances beyond their control.

    • Texas Wahoo says:

      Do you know who else might “put that much more effort into doing a good job so they can in fact keep their jobs, knowing they need to get out of the financial hole they are in”? Crack addicts and alcoholics. The might not have control in many cases as well. Crack addiction certainly doesn’t mean laziness, in fact, it might mean the opposite. These people are often bounding with energy. Should we make them a protected class as well?

      The question here is whether people with bad credit histories should be a protected class that cannot be discriminated against, like females, unlike people with criminal histories. Oregon obviously thinks so, as to some of the people on this blog, but many do not.

      • Anonymous says:

        Actually, many states do prohibit discrimination based on criminal record. After all, if no one will hire you because of a criminal background, won’t you just rely on crime as a source of money and survival?

      • Stan says:

        Oh man crack attics or people in the current environment that have lost jobs and can’t pay their bills. Keep your current job. Hang on to it with every ounce of effort.

  4. Anonymous says:

    Never mind that this is a loophole that you can drive a 10-ton earth mover through: “The law does allow exclusions for [e]mployers if that information is ‘substantially job-related and the employer’s reasons for the use of such information are disclosed to the employee or prospective employee in writing;’”

    A receptionist in a law firm comes in contact with a lot of information and may handle huge amounts of cash and extremely large checks. You could certainly argue that you need to know whether they are in solid financial shape. Likewise the secretaries who may have access to clients’ social security numbers. What about the staff in a doctors office who receives cash copays? The cashier at your nearby lunch place is handling money. Do you really think any of their employers checked their credit? But this law would allow it.

    My mom and I have the same first and last name.

    What’s in my credit report?

    I am married to my father.

    I apparently was born in 1940-something and reborn in 1970 something.

    In my 30-some years, my parents have always lived in the same house. Twice their address has been changed because of rural postal route renumbering and because of the imposition of 911 addresses where non existed before. These show up as address changes on my report. Worse, I apparently lived in other places simultaneously because any similar addresses from before or after the address changes also appear as my residences.

    My mom’s accounts show up on my report.

    Accounts that I have paid in full appear as closed accounts and are marked potentially problematic. Specifically this is my student loan.

    Because the three agencies seem unable to distinguish between my mom and me, I apparently use more than one SSN.

    I have a fairly decent credit score. Somehow? Yep, I was surprised to learn that my score was so high.

    I am a stellar employee. Beloved by doctors, lawyers, generally unpleasant people, etc. My work is always thorough. People describe me as “professional, respectful, communicative.” My reviews are always good and my raise is typically higher than my peers. I’ve held deadline-oriented jobs. I’ve held jobs that left me entirely unsupervised.

    I am the employee that companies want. You wouldn’t hire me after looking at my credit report. Your loss.

    I have pulled background checks on many people in the course of my employment. They all contain ambiguities and errors.

  5. Anonymous says:

    I’m sorry but many of you answering this post are not in touch with reality!

    I just completed my MBA in May 2010. I am seasoned, and I’m not 35 years old. Two years ago my credit took its first hit on the short sale and it has spiraled downward since. Trying to earn enough money to make those minimum payments, working with creditors to have called me derogatory names because I was late on payments! Yes, Wacovia, World Savings, HSBC, they are all guilty of having staff that speak to customers with more disrespect.

    Many people have fallen into situations due to being laid off because of the economy. Due to no faulty of their own. As I read the posts I am shocked at how misinformed most of you are about what is going on in America.

    I recently lost my benefits because Congress did not pass extensions. I have collected for 17 weeks, have worked for 37+ years of my life and was laid off, now no benefits. I am a single parent, just finished my MBA. I am educated and have wonderful experience.

    My recent visit to the state welfare office was one of the most demoralizing experiences I have ever endured. There were professionals like myself that have faced similar situations and due to no fault of their own are unemployed because of lay-offs.

    This is not about liberal, democrat or republican. Much more than that.
    I have been turned down for eight, yes eight positions because I don’t have perfect credit.
    If I worked in a bank or in casino accounting, I can understand why you want employees with good credit.

    This credit issue is so rampant, every single position a person applies for will have credit as part of the back ground check. It does not matter if you supply a letter of explanation. The answer is no we can not hire you. I was offered a position starting at $60k and once the background check was completed I was uninvited to that organization because of bad credit.

    I want to work to pay my debts and refuse to take the easy way out by way of bankruptcy. I am determined to pay my debts and clear my credit.

    This bill should be passed by every state to help get America working again.

    Obama is visiting us here in Las Vegas and I bet bad credit is not an issue on his agenda.

    Until you have experienced this situation you have no right to pre-judge me or anyone else with bad credit as you don’t know the circumstances surrounding this event.

    I’m not an idiot or low-life.

    • Benjamin says:

      It seems from some of the personal experiences/attitudes described here, that everyone who is currently unemployed has bad credit through no fault of their own, in which case businesses will have to start hiring people with bad credit, since there will be no one else to hire.

      If this were really true there would be no need for the law we are discussing. However, since it does exist and we are discussing it, let me pose a slightly different point of view.

      Perhaps there are some (emphasis on the word some, not all) people out there who have bad credit that actually is related to bad decisions or choices they have made. Perhaps this other group I am referring to actually aren’t great employees, and therefore would be beneficial for a business to evaluate them based on their credit score, as well as other factors.

      This discussion is not about the motivated people with bad credit who make excellent decisions and would be great employees, its about understanding that not everyone with bad credit falls into that group.

      Thank you for listening.

      • Mark says:

        Sigh, you ask for a touch of reality, but you seemed to have missed it yourself.

        Much of your post is about your own person and how unfair credit has been to you. That is all well and good, but in what way is it relevant? I think everyone here has acknowledged that some people have had financial problems due to circumstances beyond their control. I think everyone here has acknowledged that the law will help people who have a bad credit history. Neither of these facts are in depute.

        But these facts do not make this a good law. Every law, has both pluses and minuses. And you seem to be completely ignoring the minuses attached to this law. You ignore it to such a large extent that you make the absolutely false claim that the bill will get America working again.

        The law does not create one new job, it just makes it easier for people with bad credit to take jobs away from people with good credit. If you get a job because of this law, someone else will lose that job because of this law.

        That’s one of the big negatives of the law. People who would have gotten jobs before this law now will be on unemployment. You cannot ignore this fact.

        The next negative is that the people best suited to decide if financial history is important to a specific job have the decision taken away from them.

        The last negative is that this adds to the debt of a state that is already 3.8 billion in the hole!

        Again, getting in touch with reality, for any law you have to weigh both the positives AND the negatives. Just looking at the positives and ignoring the negatives is not being in touch with reality. In this case the negatives far outweigh the positives. It’s a bad law.

        Mark

    • Stan says:

      As a certified fraud examiner I can tell you that having those high debts gives you the perception that you have perceived pressure to commit fraud. Obviously you will not which is the whole reasoning behind not filing bankruptcy. However, I think your view on bankruptcy is a bit untested. File bankruptcy and use what the law provides you to remove your employer’s perceived pressure to commit fraud. Your a victim not a low life idiot.

  6. Becks says:

    Reality check:

    I have a credit score of about 550 at the present time due to identity theft (MUCH HARDER TO FIX THAN YOU CAN IMAGINE)I have been dealing with it for over 3 years now.

    I am very happy to say that I am a model employee of a very large company and bring the company well over 1 million in revenue yearly. For my incredible work ethic, current and previous experience, and skill level I am currently paid well over $100K per year. Of course I am not looking for a job right now and hope to not be in the future, but if things beyond my control were to cause me to need a new job, I would certainly find it unfair to myself and my new perspective employer to judge my character based on what is in my credit report.

    I am very happy Oregon has passed this new law and I think that it should be passed on a federal level.

    In fact, I have a petition that has just been started @

    http://www.petitiononline.com/nwchange/petition.html

    to prevent mistakes on citizens credit reports, as over 50% of reports currently contain errors anyways… Credit reports are by no means an accurate judge of character at the present time.

  7. Jergi says:

    Just a note Hitler… (aka Mark) Your comments above are disturbing. I could eat you for breakfast on the topics of your last comment:

    You stated:

    “The law does not create one new job, it just makes it easier for people with bad credit to take jobs away from people with good credit. If you get a job because of this law, someone else will lose that job because of this law.”

    So, you are saying that just because someone has been lucky enough to not have any errors on their credit report or have a personal financial crisis that they are a somehow a better person and deserve a job more than the other person?

    Seems hypocritical to the idea of fairness. If I probe a little deeper I sense that you like this law because it allows you to boost your own qualifications on the simple basis of another’s misfortunes. (Misfortunes true or not)

    If I wanted to persecute certain individuals in this nation I would implement a system that would degredate them, and deny the right to truth and due process. This would effectively let them be viewed as a “lesser race” so to speak. Yet, leave them no option for reprieve. Sound like the credit bureaus… I think so.

    I think this thinking is a slippery slope and with it you would have done well in Europe amidst the Nazis persecuting the lower race “Jews”. Don’t be naive enough to believe everything that is put on paper in front of you. Any intelligent person will have a sensible amount of doubt and personal higher responsibility.

    “That’s one of the big negatives of the law. People who would have gotten jobs before this law now will be on unemployment. You cannot ignore this fact.”

    So again, you are stating that someone with any sort of misfortunes, true or not, as long as they are labeled within the credit system- are undeserving of a job… Or wait- maybe they don’t deserve to live either. In fact, with people like you around, why don’t we just lock them all up and throw away the key… maybe drown them in the ocean. I think that sounds good. I know you agree.

    “The next negative is that the people best suited to decide if financial history is important to a specific job have the decision taken away from them.”

    LOL! If the people best suited to decide this are anything like you, THANK GOD OUR government took that decision away. The moment people like you are able to step into any sort of power (not to mention this one) is the day we are all doomed.

    Hmmm… I think I will write that book.

    And the petition listed above

    http://www.petitiononline.com/nwchange/petition.html

    is absolutely fantastic. For those intelligent individuals out there, please do sign!

    • Mark says:

      Hitler was a totalitarian. His political philosophy, Fascism, was that of state control of both the individual and business. Under Fascism, both submit to the state.

      This law increases state control over employers, i.e. both individuals and business.

      So how does being against the law equate to Hitler? If anything, one would think supporting the law is a bit closer politically since it increases state control. Talk about looking glass logic!

      Allow me to express my political philosophy here. I am against laws that when both the pluses and minuses are added up, do not gain advantage for society. I am against laws that take away freedoms from the individual or business, unless there is a compelling need by society.

      BP, Goldman Sachs, ALG, and Bernie Madoff are all examples of the compelling need of the State to intervene with business. Intervening with a businesses (both individual and corporate) that uses public information in making hiring decisions is not a compelling need. It’s not even close!

      —–

      Finally, on your petition, I generally support it. The current credit system is abusive and I think that this is an example of compelling need of the State to intervene. I highly recommend writing your Congressman or Senator to support the current Democratic reform package since it does try to address these issues. I admit Republicans are working very hard to kill any reform, and therefore the bill has been watered down. But I believe the problem is so pressing, any reform on this issue is better than nothing. Writing congress will have a much more positive effect than a badly written petition.

      Mark

    • Stan says:

      excellent post it may be a bit harsh and I would say educate not blame but, you would be correct as so many think just like this.

  8. Marie says:

    I have to admit I have made some bad decisions and have caused some of my own problems with my credit report. However, I am an excellent employee who gets recognized for my accomplishments, work habits, skills, personality, etc.!
    One Question…If we are to assume, most, not all people with bad credit are low-lifes who would not do well on the job, does that mean that most, not all people with great credit are great employees????
    It would be interesting to see if all of the GREAT employees all have perfect credit. I doubt it!

    • Stan says:

      We all have made bad decisions Marie. We all have. Just some won’t admit it as they prefer to be elitist.

  9. jose says:

    great forum. i enjoyed reading all veiw points. wierd thing is im republican and i agree with the law becuse i too am a victim of a not so steller credit report. (due to messy divorce of 2001) i got injured in a severe automobile accident in 2003 and still not working due to my injuries. mean while my attorney advised me to file for social security benefits. im only 45 and i want to got back to work so bad but cant due to my injuries. he said since i havent worked in so long and my credit score was inactive for so long i would not be hired even if i was 100% able to. i think that would be so unfair. becuse i was injured and have been in and out of surgeries and physical therapy for 7 yrs and my credit score suffered i wouldnt ever be hired again… are you freaking kidding me. thank god for this law and i pray it passes nationwide. p.s. bill snider is a scrooge. bah humbug.

  10. Theresa says:

    In all aspects of these comments, it has occurred to me that temporary to go permanent is a great option for both the employer and employee. But let’s look at a 6 month instead of 3. Credit scores are a fact of life, but some bad scores are not always the fault of the potential candidate. Unfortunately, potential employees are at the mercy of the employer. At this stage in my life (late 50′s) I trust my gut when on an interview, and ask a lot of questions. Research the company, ask for references, do some homework, and if the employer objects, walk away!

  11. christine says:

    1st of all the credit reporting process is not done by a human its a machine, look it up, also no one can get a job because business rely on computers to do all the work, and as far and emailing in a resume no one really looks at them its just a company advertisment. No one in business actually takes psyhical application any more.

    • Theresa says:

      Perhaps in a larger metropolitan area resumes are not looked over. I have personally been contacted by 3 companies that mentioned my resume was significant on their decision to interview me as a candidate. Also case in point, there is a lawyer here in this area, that received 60+ resumes (this is a small area) for one part time job. He READ each and every one of them. I was chosen as one of the top 5. He even called me personally to tell me that.

  12. Gordy says:

    I am 58 years old and have worked since I was 14….until recently. I have been laid off 3 times in the last 4 years and essentially only worked about 1 1/2 years of that time. I had the “standard” 6-8 months savings to carry me through the rainy day but the extended periods of unemployment have depleted all my savings, retirement and everything I’ve worked for all my life. My home was foreclosed on and I am living with my daughter while religiously job hunting. I know my age already has a negative impact but throwing a ruined credit rating into the mix that is a direct result of extended periods of unemployment is insult to injury. How can I pay my bills without a job? But I can’t get a job because of that? Unemployment certainly won’t do it.

  13. Kevin says:

    I feel that if credit scores are so important to employers in their hiring decision, that the credit scores of anyone running for office should be included in all campaign material and advertising. For that matter, the potential employee should have access to there employers credit worthiness. After all, who wants to work for someone who, due to there poor financial management abilities, will probably close soon or write paychecks that bounce.

  14. Bonniek says:

    Hey Gabriol:

    YOU STILL OWE THAT MONEY. Your excuses, your so-called hardship in school……that sums up your character right there. Don’t you understand you basically stole that money from someone who earned it? Although if it was an English degree you supposedly earned I would ask for that money back.

  15. Theresa says:

    So Gabriel will you loan me some money. Oh MAYBE I’ll pay you back in seven years or so. OR MAYBE NOT. I’m too busy for that!

  16. Jeff says:

    Its become apparent that companies are pretty much all owned by the big banks and elites who have been using our labor and then tax it and then turn us into a land of zombie debt junkies .
    No one has any saving’s.We cant use our homes like atm’s anymore,banks know that we used up all that cash.Which in turn they just dumped on the american taxpayer, all the bad toxic mortgage debt ie aig, fannie-freddie, in which we own now and will pay for for enerations.While inturn they kept all the intresst and fee’s as pure profit and stow away with gold and property and companies which now are at flea market prices.
    Rothschilds,goldman ,Jp morgan ,and all of the private scum who own the federal reserve bank,and the scum who let them do it congress,presidents and ceos’ continue the ability to counterfit cash and loan it out.Until we change by force that what else more can we do then be drones to the will of thier doing.
    So it makes complete sense that they now want to check our credit for employment,we have to prove now to these corporations that we are only “good consumers” not good producers”. get it?Hire Those that are on the brink of poverty yet still find a way to pay the minium are what they want.Especially considering they know they are most defintley paying you less then your last job paid.People just look at the value of todays dollar compared to its value in 1922.Compartivly 1.00 in 1922 is worth .05 today.Thats not because OUR FATHERS AND GRANDFATHERS didnt work hard or spark the industrial revolution>Its because we have been slaves to forced debt which inturn produces inflation.
    Thank you Oregon people not,for fighting back against this financial terrorism and tyrany.I hope and pray all states follow and that this law sticks and is really enforced.
    !STOP THE PRESS’S AT THE FEDERAL RESERVE BANK!
    !FREE OUR PEOPLE AND THE WORLD FROM OLOGARCHY!

    • Anoymous Communist says:

      I couldn’t agree more. The banking and mortage failure, and the fact that the banks got refunded with tax payer money, is so fucking disgusting, it’s almost beyond words dirty and shameful enough to describe it. Yeah, loan us back “Counterfeited money” that we gave you.
      All of these fucking banks should have been burnt to the fucking ground.

      • jose h. says:

        right on !!!!! power to the people who get screwed day in and day out by the system and then the system rewards the people who have no ambition to get out the situation they are in. and the meek shall inherit the earth !!!! our day will come.

  17. Hiring Manager says:

    I am a H.R. manager for a Fortune 200 company. We do background checks on prospective employees but do not run their credit. It is my job to evaluate and appraise candidates prior to and following their interview to see if they are a good fit for the position. If I attempted to make a decision based on information that didn’t pertain to the job, then I wouldn’t be doing a very good job myself. I can’t expect Experian, Equifax, and TransUnion to do my job for me. People are so warped! Your Social Security Number was meant for one purpose. Now it is used to run your credit report. Your credit report should only pertain to instances where you are applying for or granting credit to someone. I agree it should be illegal to use credit information for anything except financial purposes.

    • bonniek says:

      Credit Checks are only being discussed as ONE tool among others for evaluating a potential employee. Your reply seems to be discussing it as the end-all, with “….Experian….to do my job for me.” I don’t think anyone responsible would use it as the only deciding factor. I also think someone responsible would consider a person’s fiscal behavior at least to some degree. It is not irrelevant.

  18. Grant says:

    Hiring Manager may work for a wiz-bang company, and be a wizard at choosing perfect people, but the last time I received a valuable candidate from anyone in HR of any of the companies I’ve been with was…oh wait, that’s right, it’s never happened. At my companies (past and present) HR seldom even understands the actual requirements for a position in a technology company. Besides, the argument posed doesn’t make sense – why would you be against a credit check since the work isn’t pertaining specifically to the proposed role, but you support a background check in the same scenario. Face it, credit – not always, but usually in my experience – speaks volumes about one’s personal level of discipline, responsibility, dedication, etc. It’s not a litmus test by any means, but it is one piece of a large puzzle, and a valuable one at that.

  19. redriveratdawn says:

    Grant:

    You obviously know nothing about credit scores. “why would you be against a credit check since the work isn’t pertaining specifically to the proposed role,” because it does not pertain to the job role. “support a background check in the same scenario,” because a background check does not LOWER one’s CREDIT rating. Credit ratings are LOWERED when your credit is “checked” or “run”. The credit companies who control these scores assume that you received a credit card simply BECAUSE A CREDIT CHECK WAS DONE. If I am unemployed and do what I am supposed to do to get unemployment, that means my credit can get dinged as many as 5 times a week or over 20 times a month! That process alone will make my credit look bad to the idiot who is checking it to see if he was to employ me – as did the 20 or so department managers BEFORE him. Credit score has absolutely NOTHING to do with how you handle money, it has to do with how many hiring managers and department heads check my credit simply because I am being responsible and looking for a job and not sitting on my rear drawing welfare.

  20. redriveratdawn says:

    I know this is going to sound like “negativity” to some people, but it needs to be said. The people posting here who claim to be, or want to appear to be, competent business people, hiring managers, department managers, etc., are displaying profound ignorance when it comes to the way the real world works. Willful ignorance, I might ad, looking at some of these comments. In the mind of many of us reading the comments you wrote, we can only assume that the people who posted those comments are also incompetent in their own jobs each day. And willfully so. Making assumptions goes both ways, gentlemen.

  21. redriveratdawn says:

    09/08/2010 at 10:15 comment was in regard to being a proponent of running a credit score for employment. Not any other issues.

    Sorry.

    • Grant says:

      Thanks for making assumptions about me and my use of credit reports, then criticizing me for making assumptions! That’s why the employer pulled credit reports are soft pulls. I don’t assume anything from a credit report, but it provides more information from which I can ask questions, learn more about the dedication, ethics, and overall discipline of the candidate. I said it again – it’s not a litmus test, just a source of information. That information leads to new understandings of a person and their decision making ability. This is critical to my business.

  22. NCGirl says:

    Great comment from long way above:

    “I am very happy Oregon has passed this new law and I think that it should be passed on a federal level.

    In fact, I have a petition that has just been started @

    http://www.petitiononline.com/nwchange/petition.html

    to prevent mistakes on citizens credit reports, as over 50% of reports currently contain errors anyways… Credit reports are by no means an accurate judge of character at the present time.”

  23. Mr Doe says:

    My comments were only in regard to the hypothetical validity of credit checks in employment hiring decisions, not any other issues what so ever.

  24. Doyline says:

    Well I do not agree that people who have bad credit cannot show up on time and have good work ethics.
    I wrked 28 years for the Phone Company and attendance is one of the first priorities for a person to maintain their job. I did not have good credit but you can believe me I showed up and was very accountable for my presence.
    So those that think otherwise can piss up a rope and let it run down your negative mouth about bad credit people that cannot not perform there duties at work.

    P.S. The girl beside me said that if they didnt stop checking on people maybe someone could get a decent job and pay their bills.

  25. Leena says:

    It is amazing to me what some people think they can deduce from a credit report.

    My credit sucked. I filed bankruptcy because there was no other way out of the mess I had created.It was no one’s fault but my own. I was not a victim of unemployment, circumstances, whatever. I made my own lousy decisions and I own them, thank you. My BK closed in December of ’09 and I have been committed since that time to managing my credit responsibly. I have a huge student loan I am also paying on, it is 87K and I pay $400 -$800 monthly on it (minimum payment is $400.00, I do as much as I can because I want it paid off before I retire and I am 45).

    I have always, even when I was making very bad choices about my credit been a good employee. I might add I am a Property Manager who writes and monitors budgets. I have always, always handled my employer’s money responsibly (to the limited extent that we PM’s actually handle money, I will grant), been on time and reliable at work, and had good performance reviews. If I had handled my credit as well as I have handled my jobs, I would have a 800+ score by now. I must say that if you want someone dedicated to doing good work you would do well to have me in your company and I base that statement on my past performance as an employee, not an overinflated opinion of myself.

    I screwed up my credit, I admit it freely and am working now, post BK to improve and doing a good job of it. I have always done well by my employers and I have the references and dare I say resume (because people would not have kept me for years if I were a loser) to prove it.

    YET, some of you here would compare me to a crack addict or a felon and say I should be barred from employment practically for life because I present too great a risk to an employer? Okay, you are entitled to your opinion but I strongly disagree.

    Many others disagree, too. There are faults in connecting job performance with credit rating to numerous to list here, and many others have already brought them up.

    The irony is that making people with bad credit unemployable would NOT serve creditors well and if they had a brain to call their own, the major credit issuing bank would oppose it. People who cannot get jobs because of bad credit cannot pay their bills no matter who hard they try. Some segments of the unemployed, such as those with retail backgrounds and those applying for the sort of positions that require an MBA are very effected by this employer credit check practice and may remain unemployed for years as a result. Their lack of ability to pay their bills, or even buy a movie ticket cash does not serve their creditors OR the economy as a whole well. Hiring some 22 year old with half the experience but a perfect credit rating because s/he has not had the time to make mistakes or be effected by bad circumstances does not serve the employer well, either. A lot of them are just to short-sighted to know it (and counting the money they can save from a lower salary for the 22 year old for often times a poorer quality of work from an inexperienced person).

    I might also add to the property owner who said any renter he had with poor credit had not turned out well that my experience is a little different. Renters I have had as a property manager who had bad consumer credit have often turned out to be just fine as resident IF they had a good rental history and paid rent on time. Why? Because these are the people who will pay the rent before the car payment and get the car repo’d if it comes to that. I have, on the other hand taken a chance on renters with great consumer credit who owed smallish amounts of money to another landlord, or had a history of late rental payments and got burned each time! Credit is often times more complex than it looks.

    • Benjamin says:

      Leena, your message is very heartfelt and I’m sure can describe a few of the people out there with bad credit. However, you can’t generalize your situation to every person with bad credit out there. I choose to believe you are an exception, that your poor personal credit choices never impacted your work performance. You choose to believe you are not. That’s what this law is about, choice. An employer should have the right to make up his/her own mind.

      Many people here are relating personal experiences, and that’s fine. Realize that personal experience from any one person is only one small slice of the pie.

      Yes, it is ironic to a degree that bad choices lead to more bad choices. People who misuse their credit and do not take their obligations seriously then have a harder time with anyone else (Landlord, Employers) taking them seriously, which creates a downward cycle. That is unfortunate but necessary. If bad choices didn’t come with bad consequences how would we learn to make good ones?

      A major part of the problem with our economy now is we continue to throw good money after bad, giving loans and other benefits to people who have shown a proven record of misusing such benefits. By refusing to hold people who make poor choices accountable, we are simultaneously punishing those who make better choices.

      Thank you for listening.


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