Financial Discrimination?

With the economy in the news since October, one such hot issue has been the bail out of large banks and larger corporations, such as automakers. But, what about the ordinary citizen who, after losing a job, cannot get back on his or her feet and needs to a job to meet ends meet? And, what if that citizen has mediocre or poor credit and needs a job to pay the bills? As mentioned in an article recently in the Kansas City Star, those without good credit, often as the result of bankruptcy, are unable to find work as the result of poor credit – from a credit check in a background check – and stay unemployed. Is this a reasonable case for a credit check to be eliminated from background checks or to disregard a person’s financial situation in regards to employment?

In many cases, a credit check is part of an ordinary background check for financial, executive, and management positions, as often the ability to manage one’s finances is correlated with being a responsible worker, especially if the job description includes the handling of money. But what if an individual has a past a strong worker, has been laid off less than a year ago, and no longer can pay his or her bills as the result of dried up savings, leading to poor credit? Although an individual currently now has poor credit, he or she needs a job in order to pay the bills and raise his or her credit rating.

Although some suggestions in this case may be to take a lower paying job to pay the bills and get better credit, having bad credit can nearly destroy a person’s employability for a meaningful occupation in financial positions. But, one point that this article brings up is, if the government can bail out struggling corporations, particularly financial corporations, shouldn’t these corporations be able to help, or “bail out,” those with poor or mediocre credit needing a new start after being laid off, especially in a difficult economy? Should those with bad credit be “pardoned” to decrease the unemployment rate? In many cases, examining why a person has bad credit – did he lose his job over the past year? for example – instead of dismissing a candidate with a poor credit score would help those caught in the bad credit-unemployment trap as the result of the current economy.