Credit reports are tricky things. Bad ones can keep you from getting houses, cars and now, maybe even jobs.
According to a recent survey, one in four unemployed Americans is required to have a credit check when applying for a job, and of those, one in 10 was denied a job because of those reports.
It wasn’t just the senior-level positions where the checks were required, either. Even entry-level jobs like delivery drivers were subject to the checks.
Of course, unemployment and the loss of health insurance can make it hard for people to keep up with their bills, which in turn can cause bad credit.
Adding insult to injury, according to a recent FTC study, one in five consumers reported credit report errors, and because employers only have access to credit reports—not credit scores—often their evaluation of an applicant is subjective.
The good news is that most employers using credit checks as a measurement for job applicants say those checks are not the most important factor in their decision. As CNN Money points out, “about 34% of employers use credit checks on some job applicants and 13% conduct credit checks on all applicants, according to the SHRM’s survey. Only 14% cite credit checks as the most important factor in a hiring decision, compared to 87% who said previous work experience is most important.”