This may come as a surprise, but employers in most states are permitted to look at the credit reports of prospective employees as part of their hiring practices.
A handful of states though, like California, are beginning to restrict access to credit reports.
Credit reports offer a snapshot of our financial history, the good and the bad. When you apply for a job, some potential employers look it over to help determine a candidate's character. Amber Yoo with Privacy Rights Clearinghouse says that's not a fair practice, "There are plenty of reasons why someone would have bad credit that are totally unrelated to character such as a medical emergency, a lengthy divorce or another family problem that was just unanticipated." Another problem is credit reports are not very accurate.
There are now seven states restricting the use of credit reports in making hiring and other personnel decisions. Certain job applications will still require credit checks, though, such as managerial positions, law enforcement and financial jobs.
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