Monday, August 15, 2011

Ranting on credit reports and job applications

From Colorlines: "Your Credit Report Hurting Your Job Search?"

Everything about that just pisses me off. This paragraph right here sums up exactly how I feel about this:
“Employers [use] credit reports to help them gauge whether prospective employees can handle money and show up to work on time, but there is no evidence that credit history correlates to job performance,” says Traub. “What it does reveal is the kind of stress a household is under in this recession. It’s a Catch-22: You’re having trouble paying bills and you’re using a credit card for basic household expenses because you’re unemployed. But you won’t get hired because you’re having trouble paying bills.”
Because you know what? My credit report is complete shit and it's going to show that I haven't been paying on my student loans and that I've had late payments on things. What the report won't show is that even when I was working two jobs, I barely made enough to cover my bills such as rent, car insurance, groceries, and other basic necessities. I'm hoping that once I finish training at my current job that I'll be able to get over-time and start fixing things ASAP, because I want to improve my situation. I haven't neglected paying back my loans because I'm a bad person and just don't want to do it; it's because I haven't been able to afford to. Years of making minimum wage (and not being hired for jobs that paid more than that) haven't put me in a position to have the funds to do it.

Like that article said, it's a Catch-22. You can't pay those bills without a job (or hell, even having a job but not making enough to pay them) but if no one will hire you, guess what? You still can't pay. I really don't understand how people can feel justified in not hiring someone based on their credit report. "This person is in huge debt. I will NOT hire them! Serves you right for being in debt!" No. No, that is bullshit. Want to know how people can get out of debt and improve their scores? GETTING JOBS! Maybe getting TWO jobs if it's possible for one's situation. But to choose not to hire an applicant and using that person's credit score to justify that? Then that employer is part of the problem.

When I was looking for work I was terrified that I wouldn't get hired for this reason. I know my credit report is a huge mess, and I was so scared that no one would want to hire me be cause of it. I have been through that, and am still afraid it will ruin future job searches. Whether or not I've made payments toward any of my loans is no one's business but my own and those agencies. A potential job should have <i>no reason</i> to look into that. That is someone's personal life and that is NOT AN EMPLOYER'S BUSINESS.

Fuck that noise.