Resume, References, Credit Score?
To represent a truly widespread barrier to employment, credit checks must not only be widely conducted, but actually become a basis for losing job opportunities. We find that 1 in 10 participants in our survey who are unemployed have been informed that they would not be hired for a job because of the information in their credit report. Among job applicants with blemished credit histories, 1 in 7 has been advised that they were not being hired because of their credit.
However, the true number may be higher still: while the FCRA requires employers to provide official notification when a credit report played a role in the decision not to hire someone, compliance with this provision is difficult to oversee. In the unlikely event that they are investigated, employers who don’t want to bother with FCRA-mandated disclosures can falsely claim that the credit report was not a factor in their decision not hire an employee. Again, the fact that our survey included only low- and middle-income households may also understate the proportion of total job applicants rejected by employers because of their poor credit.