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ESSENCE Poll: Should Your Credit Score Determine If You're Employable?

Some employers and credit card companies say yes. Do you agree?
ESSENCE Poll: Should Your Credit Score Determine If You’re Employable?
Ariel Skelley

Finding a good job is hard enough as is, but some employers—and credit card companies—are trying to make it even harder.

Employers frequently (and legally) examine potential employees’ credit histories, but is that truly a good indicator of how well someone can get a job done? A report recently released from Demos says no, illuminates just how often the practice is used and highlights how employers can use it to discriminate against Black applicants.

“The idea is that if somebody is having difficulty paying their bills, then maybe they’re not a reliable person and not somebody you would want with your business,” Demons’ Senior Policy Analyst Amy Traub told Mic. “The challenge is that there’s very few studies that have looked into this, and those that have have not shown that a credit report is actually a reliable way to measure whether somebody would be a good and reliable employee.”

Ten percent of people surveyed in the study said that they have lost out on a job because of their credit history. The practice unfairly targets the Black community, 56 percent of whom told surveyors that their credit was not “good” or “excellent.” The Black population was among the hardest hit during the 2008 recession, and due to institutionalized racism, many have had trouble getting back on their feet, accruing debt, but unable to find a job. It’s an unjust Catch-22. The credit checks might be viewed as a legal way for companies to discriminate when looking to fill a position. 

Do you think companies are wrong to factor a prospective employee’s finances into its hiring decision? Take our poll and leave us a comment explaining why or why not you think the practice is fair.

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