Eva Smith (Attorney) @ Lucid Living
Employment credit report checks have always been a contentious issue. Why should a person’s credit report impact their ability to sercue a job?
Employers content, that a bad credit report might help flag poor work habits and decision-making, and even general untrustworthiness.
Indeed, some 60% of employers report doing credit report checks for some or all job candidates, according to the Society for Human Resource Management. Of those, more than 60% said they are unlikely to accept an applicant with a judgment currently filed against them, while nearly half would likely pass on one with accounts in debt collection.
Some research seems to back employers’ fears: Nearly one third of employees with self-reported credit report problems engaged in “counterproductive work behavior,” such as theft or accepting bribes, compared to about 18% of employees without financial problems, according to a 2010 academic study.
But consumer advocates say credit report problems are more widespread now because of the struggling economy. Almost half of all credit active South Africans have an impaired credit report. These blacklistings will in many instances disqualify an otherwise ideal candidate from a job.
Given that backdrop, some argue that employers should hire based on skills and qualifications and not credit report histories. Those in the job market have plenty of obstacles right now and should not have to try to defend the fact that they missed payments on bills.
Case in point: Karen Selling, a dietetic technician, says she and her husband, Christopher, a diesel mechanic, have been on dozens of interviews over the past two years, but neither has been hired because of their credit report histories. When their son got sick a few years ago, the Sellings racked up medical debt and fell behind on their home loan payments. “Nobody is giving us a chance,” she says.
Under the National Credit Act, companies must get permission from job applicants in writing to check their credit reports. For those with credit report blacklisting, it is better to clear the issues before applying for a job and being disqualified.
Step 1 – check your credit report NOW!
Step 2 – if you are blacklisted – contact Lucid Living (010 590 5617) and have a credit counselor guide you to get your name cleared.
Step 3 – apply for a job with confidence – KNOWING that your credit report will not disqualify you.