Your credit report should be a privacy issue--illegal for employers to access
By Stephanie L. Pyke on March 09, 2010
Everyone has seen the Credit report commercials depicting a young man working in a crab shack serving tourists instead of working at the job he is qualified to do. Unfortunately, this is a fact of life for some of the most highly educated individuals in this country.
This stems from the fact that employers request access to your credit report as part of the hiring process. I am not sure when this practice started, but it needs to end immediately. Being denied access to the jobs that a person is qualified to do results in a people who are disafffected, depressed; in some cases suicidal. It perpetuates debt by denying debtors the right to earn a livable income and to pay back those loans with the skills they developed. It denies companies the skilled workers needed to do their tasks efficiently, and it denies people that do not have higher education access to jobs because educated people are filling the positions. It is nothing short of a crime against humanity to continue to allow employers to access a prospective or current employee's credit rating.
Student loan debt, as most of us can attest, is a weighty sum that, if not employed in one's field of specialization, grants a pointless, expensive piece of paper to hang on the wall. There is no point to a law degree or medical degree that can't be capitalized on because of debt. That is a person who could potentially be making six figures, but instead is forced to make a teenager's wage because licenses can be denied because of debt.
The same is true of employers, who are notorious for finding the most fickle of excuses. Credit reports are yet one more invasion of privacy that should not go unnoticed in trying to get people gainfully employed.
The credit report is a number that is terribly abused in this society. It tells people where your money goes, and why it has stopped going, it tells about credit cards, it tells about debt. in an age in which employers are no longer allowed to ask about gender preference, family, race, or marital status, why do people allow employers to look at the report? Allowing perspective and current employers
I have heard excuses from employers and the wealthy talking about how people with bad credit scores are more likely to commit theft, do drugs, and be generally bad people. the truth is, especially in this culture of dead-end debt, most people with less than stellar credit reports actually just want a steady job that pays well. Instead, just like the educated kid working at the restaurant when he should be working in an office, those of us with debt are forced into a sisyphian cycle of perpetual underemployment when it would be more economical to just let us work in our specialties.
Credit reports should not be seen by anyone other than the person to whom it is relevant. This means the individual and his or her power of attourney.
It's not just the issue of debt that credit reports get given to. Without your permission, (or with your permission because otherwise they drop you) credit reports are given to insurance companies. All it takes for consumer reports to put up a statistic that people with low scores are more likely to get into car wrecks for the car insurance premiums to go up. This is what happened to my husband. He has a stellar driving record, is married, and over 25, yet when he wanted to move his insurance out of his parent's plan to his own, the insurance company quoted him the premiums equal to a person that had been in more than three car wrecks. It was the same result over four insurance companies, including USAA. Health insurance is the same. People with low scores are more likely to have health problems, so low scoring people have to pay higher health premiums.
With a country filling with students graduating into unemployment, people with massive medical debt, Atlean morgages, and credit card trenches we are becoming a country and a generation of people who will be treated like criminals, that is denied gainful employment in the same manner as people that commit real crimes, just because of a number and a report that should be private.
It is nothing short of exploiting the poor based on a statistic. It all comes down to numbers. It seems that what matters more to people who want to access your credit report is an excuse to deny people employment, and exploit the poor. Instead, make it illegal for others to ask. you don't have to show employers your tax returns and medical history reports; why allow this?
In my next blog post I am going to talk about some of the excuses people give for wanting to see the report, and i am going to give reasons why those excuses do not hold water.
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