Monday, October 25, 2010
Poor credit could cost you a job and more
Your credit score - one measure of your credit worthiness - can affect your ability to get an auto loan, buy your own home, get affordable insurance, and it may even affect whether you land certain jobs.
According to the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) more than half of U.S. companies are using credit checks to help make hiring decisions (Marketplace.publicradio.org Oct. 20).
And that creates a vicious cycle for some. In an environment where unemployment is high, the loss of a job can make it easier to fall behind on bills. Since payment history attributes to your credit score, late or missed payments can cause your score to drop. And if you're in line for a job, that credit score could contribute to whether you land the job.
The EEOC held a public forum on Oct. 20 to explore the use of credit histories as employee selection criteria. Several of these meetings have been slated throughout the year. Congress is examining a possible ban on credit checks for employees.
As a consumer, it's important that you know your score and monitor any changes. Take advantage of the free credit reports each of the three main credit bureaus must supply you each year. Visit www.AnnualCreditReport.com to access your reports.