Want a job? Better have good credit

| Saturday, April 10, 2010
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While I'm on my high horse today about the job market, here's another thing about it I find unsettling: employers that require credit checks as a condition for employment.

I recently applied for a job that required me to consent to a credit check and allow the employer to thoroughly investigate my background as long as it did so "in a lawful manner."

And no, I wasn't seeking a job at the CIA.

The New York Times reports today that there is a growing controversy about checking the credit history of job applicants. Some say the practice could make it difficult for those whose credit took a hit during the Great Recession to become re-employed.

Defenders of the practice say employee theft and the pervasive problem of applicants lying on their resumes make it imperative that businesses hire workers with good credit histories.

But others say there is no correlation between credit history and the honesty of employees.

As one Connecticut state lawmaker who wants to limit the use of credit checks by employers noted, Bernie Madoff had a pretty good credit score.

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