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Impact of Credit on Hiring and Employment

Mark Cappel
UpdatedNov 2, 2009

I do not think that an employer has any business with my credit history. That is un-American. Help!

I do not think that an employer has any business reviewing my credit history. If I am not a criminal nor a terrorist, my employment should never be dependent on my credit history. That is un-American.

Unfortunately, it is a reality. I understand your frustration at having credit history involved in employment, but some employers review credit history when evaluating an employee, so you should prepare and be in control of what potential employer's see.

It is ironic you state that it is un-American to review credit history in making an employment decision, since the US government actually practices this process for many government jobs, such as in foreign service and domestic law enforcement. The argument employers use is that they don't want an employee in a key role who: i) has a history of financially unsound or bad decisions, and ii) could be manipulated easily with financial incentives that would compromise their ability to do their job.

Not all jobs require employees with a spotless credit reports. In fact, I would argue that for most jobs a credit check would be a pointless expense and may lead to screening out otherwise qualified candidates.

If you seek a career in a field where credit checks are required, then I would recommend you take charge of your financial health and get onto solid financial footing and improve your credit so that not only will potential employers look at you favorably, but any potential landlords or lenders see you as a great candidate, as well.

I hope this information helps you Find. Learn & Save.




EElleke Jenkins, Mar, 2010
I agree with the writer of this letter. While you did give good advice on dealing with this issue, saying this is "reality" is not really solving the problem. Too many people think they need access to one's private business in order to judge "work skills." Yet, for some reason many of the worst of us get hired in the top positions, as demonstrated by the financial scandals of the last few months. The federal government needs to regulate this practice in order to keep good workers from being judged unfairly, as many who have less than perfect credit have legitimate reasons. Also, the alternative of having "no" credit is just as harmful as having bad credit, so what is one to do. As long as one has no criminal record, then I think the employer has no other right to private information.