Elizabeth Warren: Pre-Employment Credit Checks Are Wrong


YOU HAVE PROBABLY EXPERIENCED AT
SOME POINT HAVING A CREDIT CHECK RUN ON YOU WHEN
YOU APPLY FOR A JOB. ELIZABETH WARREN AND STEPHEN
COHEN WANT TO CHANGE THAT. THEY HAVE A NEW BILL, THE BILL
WOULD PROHIBIT HIRING MANAGERS FROM SEEKING CREDIT
INFORMATION ON POTENTIAL EMPLOYEES UNLESS STATE LAW
REQUIRES A CREDIT CHECK OR THE JOB IN QUESTION REQUIRES
A SECURITY CLEARANCE. SHE RELEASED THIS STATEMENT
SAYING, “CREDIT REPORTING COMPANIES THAT SELL AMERICANS
PERSONAL DATA TO POTENTIAL EMPLOYERS A PERSON NARRATIVE
THAT A CREDIT HISTORY SOMEHOW PROVIDES INSIGHT INTO
SOMEONE’S CHARACTER. RESEARCH HAS SHOWN THAT AN
INDIVIDUAL’S CREDIT HAS LITTLE TO NO CORRELATION WITH
HIS OR HER ABILITY TO SUCCEED IN THE WORKPLACE.” THERE IS A LOT OF REASON TO
BELIEVE THAT NOT ONLY BECAUSE THERE ARE THINGS OUTSIDE
OF YOUR CONTROL THAT CAN CAUSE YOU TO GET AN ECONOMIC
DISTRESS, BUT ALSO BECAUSE THE WHOLE SYSTEM OF CREDIT
CHECKS IS FLAWED. AN FTC STUDY RELEASED IN 2013
ESTIMATED THAT AS MANY AS ONE IN FOUR AMERICANS HAVE AT
LEAST ONE POTENTIALLY MATERIAL ERROR ON AT LEAST ONE
OF THEIR THREE CREDIT REPORTS. 80 PERCENT OF THOSE WHO SOUGHT A
CORRECTION GOT THEM FIXED. THERE ARE MULTIPLE CREDIT
BUREAUS THAT HAVE TO BE CONTACTED TO ADDRESS AN ERROR, AND THE
PROCESS CAN BE CONVOLUTED.>>I COULDN’T LOVE ELIZABETH
WARREN MORE. I LOVE THAT SHE IS DRAWING
ATTENTION TO THIS ISSUE. ESPECIALLY WHEN YOU HAVE A
POLITICAL PARTY THAT KEEPS SAYING IF YOU ARE HAVING A HARD
TIME JUST PUT YOURSELF FROM THE BOOTSTRAPS, RIGHT? HERE’S THE THING THAT HAPPENS
WITH CREDIT SCORES, SOMEONE CHECKS IT AND YOUR
CREDIT SCORE GOES DOWN. YOU SCRATCH YOUR HEAD IN THE
WRONG WAY, IT GOES DOWN. YOU DO ANYTHING EVEN REMOTELY
WRONG, AND IT GOES DOWN. IT MEANS NOTHING. I CAN’T BELIEVE THAT WORKPLACES
ARE LOOKING TO YOUR CREDIT SCORE TO DECIDE WHETHER OR NOT
TO HIRE YOU, ESPECIALLY WHEN THEY COULD BE SOMEONE
WHO HAD A MEDICAL EMERGENCY AND THEY DIDN’T HAVE HEALTH INSURANCE TO
PAY FOR IT AND AS A RESULT THEIR CREDIT SCORE GOT AFFECTED. IT SAYS NOTHING ABOUT
THE CHARACTER.>>
I AM ONE OF THOSE JOB CREATORS. WE STARTED THIS COMPANY, WE HAVE
NOW HIRED OVER 55 PEOPLE. I HAVE NEVER ONCE ASKED FOR
ANYONE’S CREDIT SCORE. IT NEVER EVEN OCCURRED TO ME
UNTIL I READ THIS STORY. WHAT EARTH WOULD I DO WITH THEIR
CREDIT SCORE?>>FUCK WITH THEM.>>MAYBE. WHAT I WANT IS SOMEONE WHO IS
EXCELLENT AT WHAT THEY DO. YOUR CREDIT SCORE IS NOT
GOING TO TELL ME THAT. ARE YOU AN EXCELLENT EDITOR? HOW DO I FUCKING KNOW FROM
YOUR CREDIT SCORE? HOW WOULD I FIND ANYTHING OUT
THROUGH YOUR CREDIT SCORE? IT’S ABSURD.
GET OUT OF YOUR EMPLOYEE’S LIVES. I DON’T KNOW WHY EMPLOYERS
HAVE THIS URGE TO FIND OUT EVERYTHING ABOUT A PERSON. DUDE,
YOU MUST NOT HAVE ENOUGH TO DO. I AIN’T GOT TIME TO MESS
AROUND WITH THAT NONSENSE. WE BARELY HAVE ENOUGH TIME TO
FIND GREAT CANDIDATES. WE ARE NOT GOING TO GET
INTO PEOPLE’S LIVES. IF YOU ARE AN ACTUAL EMPLOYER
WITH THINGS TO DO, YOU SHOULD HAVE NO PROBLEM WITH
THIS LEGISLATION AT ALL.>>I DECLARED BANKRUPTCY THREE
YEARS AGO. [LAUGHTER]>>THAT’S BETWEEN YOU AND YOUR
CREDITORS. THAT IS NOT BETWEEN ME AND YOU.>>THAT’S WHAT I THOUGHT.>>TO GIVE YOU AN IDEA ABOUT
THIS PROBLEM, NEARLY HALF OF OUR HIRING MANAGERS
SURVEYED IN 2012 SAID THEIR COMPANY CHECKS
CANDIDATES CREDIT HISTORIES. THAT FIGURE WAS DOWN FROM
2010 WHEN A FULL 60 PERCENT OF THOSE SURVEYED
SAID THEY USE THE TACTIC. IT IS STILL HALF. IT IS SORT OF A REVERSE OF THE
NORMAL WAY THAT CREDIT CHECKS ARE SUPPOSED TO WORK. NORMALLY, YOU GIVE ME A LOAN OR
A CAR, THEN YOU WANT TO KNOW THAT I AM RESPONSIBLE
BECAUSE I AM GOING TO BE PAYING YOU BACK EVERY MONTH. WHEN I WORK FOR YOU, YOU ARE
PAYING ME EVERY MONTH. I WANT TO KNOW IF YOU ARE
RESPONSIBLE. WE SHOULD DO CREDIT CHECKS ON
THE EMPLOYER.>>THAT’S A GREAT POINT ñ WAIT A
MINUTE, THAT’S A HORRIBLE POINT. I WILL GIVE YOU ANOTHER EXAMPLE. WHEN WE HIRE EDITORS, WE PUT
THEM TO THE TEST. WE HAVE THEM EDIT
DIFFERENT CLIPS. AT THE END WE SEE WHO
EDITED IT THE BEST. WHAT WOULD YOUR CREDIT SCORE
TELL US ABOUT THAT?>>I WAS THREE DAYS LATE ON
APPLYING THAT TRANSITION. IT DOESN’T
MAKE ANY SENSE.>>THE CREDIT SCORE IS
JUST ONE PART OF IT. THERE IS ALSO THE DRUG TEST. HAVE YOU BEEN CONVICTED OF
A FELONY? ALL THE OTHER THINGS THAT
THEY DO TO PRY INTO YOUR PERSONAL LIFE AND DECIDE WHETHER
OR NOT YOU ARE WORTH HIRING. IF SOMEONE HAS BEEN CONVICTED OF
A FELONY, IT DOESN’T MEAN THEY ARE GOING TO BE A BAD
EMPLOYEE, RIGHT? I HATE THE FACT THAT IF YOU HAVE
BEEN CONVICTED, YOUR LIFE IS OVER. PEOPLE DON’T WANT TO HIRE YOU.>>IF YOU DON’T GET THE JOB,
THEN WE WILL HAVE ISSUES.>>I GOT CONVICTED OF A
FELONY THREE YEARS AGO. I AM SO GLAD YOU FEEL THIS WAY.>>YOU ARE KILLING ME.>>NOT REALLY.

100 thoughts on “Elizabeth Warren: Pre-Employment Credit Checks Are Wrong

  • Plus, how do you pull yourself up by your bootstraps if you can’t get a job because of your credit history? Employers are just using this as a weeder because in this economy it’s an employer’s market and they have to find some way to plough through the resumes.

  • Liz is so right, but my reasoning behind the bill would have had a slightly different wording: "Because it's none of their goddamn business".

  • like the guy who wrote dilbert says… one day the employee will be the one with the rights. when we all form self employed companies, we will all be doing this. lmao. Also, credit checks on your employer are a must, after all how often have you gotten shafted for pay? im sure a larger portion of people have gotten shafted more than you would imagine.

  • Wow the US is fucked up in terms of job hiring; credit checks, social media monitoring, drug tests in jobs that don't logically require physicals (drivers, pilots, heavy equipment operators); these are all insanely invasive and have no place any companies' hiring practices!

  • Big corporations are running credit scores. They've been doing that for 15 years. I had to sign a release form, for a company to get my credit report. That happened in 2000. Real dumb. (I turned the job down.)
    Experience should be the factor in hiring someone.

  • Not to mention that businesses aren't really audited on this behavior either. I've sent checks to former apartment companies, see said check cashed on my bank reports, then receive collections notices in the mail months later. Call said business, tell them wtf? receive apology (it was a clerical error), it will be corrected.

    Still affected my credit history.
    It's a stupid fucking system.

  • The catch 22 is credit scores go down because you can't pay your bills, but because of your poor credit you can't get a job in order to pay those bills.

  • Well, how would that work or not work if a job directly handles money?

    Next up: every employer slaps security clearance on every job that comes up.

  • I tried to get a job at a casino as a dealer and I was offered the job contingent on a background check and credit check. I passed the criminal background check but because I had one mark for a credit card from a year ago that I have since paid off I was denied the job.

  • The idea is to "legitimize" the marginalization and criminalization of innocent folks as a way to disempower them so they become easy prey for those whose ultimate aim is to own them. How it manifests has changed but its essence remains the same; slavery.

  • something i actually agree with you Libs on. i went through this a month ago. there is nothing in my past that keep me from getting the job, but i was still very annoyed by it and found it to be way to intrusive and it made me almost tell the company to get fucked and shove the job. on top of that i had to go through it yet again for one of the company's clients. They perform their own check on any of the employees at my company who may step foot on one of their facility's. Like i said i found it way to intrusive and It really gave me second thoughts about working there.

  • well if they fell that way, keep getting your jack on by all mean necessary. family have to eat. just take some shit talking side ways like that. may the crime rate rise.

  • They want this information because they are, at least the big ones, using "indicator" programs that has some level of algorithms to predict "risk"(loyalty, stealing, not showing up to work, sick days etc etc) to security or profit.

    So they put allot of BS into this and the program gives out a result and if that result seems "okayish" over time. That, rather anecdotal evidence, becomes justifications to continue and indirectly blocking most people that are not A4. This only changes in turn when labor is in high demand and BS that is just BS has to be removed or even other actually qualifying standards need to be lowered as well.

    There is a whole bis around this…

  • …hmmm, I would disagree on the felony part. It doesn't matter if you can get the job done, if you could easily snap and beat me over with a stapler…

  • Welcome to corporate tyranny.  It's power is getting too strong to be unchecked.  Also welcome to "see how dumb they operate on a daily basis".

  • Government should keep out. If employers want to check credit score let them have at it.

    This is what the market is for. If a company wants to waste profits vetting in this way LET THEM. Just makes the companies that don't will make more profit…..

  • anyone who gets anywhere near any private data or sensitive materials or data needs to be responsible…. credit checks are a must in any tech field and many other fields.

  • So it doesn't matter how much experience/skills I have to be the perfect candidate for an average position. As long as my credit is bad, you can't get a job. Credit Check for employment is a legal way to discriminate.

  • How the fuck are you supposed to improve your credit score if these fucking employers could prevent you from working to build it up (or build it back up) in the first place? Shit American logic, but then again, you're dealing with shit Americans. Also, what about students? If a student goes to college and can't pay back his/her loans or pays them back late due to his/her inability to find a job in this shit job market (over a year AND STILL counting for me), doesn't the credit score get affected? So you could be denied a job, when the whole reason why you went into debt in the first place is to enhance your opportunities of finding a good job. Again, shit American logic. They don't even let you build your credit up using a debit card (which some have fought for). They want you using their form of credit to enslave you for life.

  • I worked for a government contractor that takes complaints against financial companies. The complaints against the major credit bureaus was seriously never ending. By law they have to verify that the information they put down is true, but when asked to correct a mistake, they never did verify. They just sent tons and tons of form letters saying its correct. Many people don't even know there are more than 3 companies who report on you. There's one for your rental history, one for your banking history, one for medical, it goes on and on. I hate ted every second of that job but at least I learned how deep the shit goes.

  • In 2013 I went through 37 job interviews in which their applications asked me if I was willing to allow management to: look into my credit history, take a drug test, and have access to my tweeter & facebook acct. I declined, not one called back!

  • Hey Guys, Let me give you an example of this. About 15 years ago I applied for a job at Brown Brothers Harriman in Boston. After a series of 3 interviews and an outstanding financial package offer they asked me to start right away (1 week after the last interview) so I agreed and gave a 1 week notice to my current employer then. They were not happy about the 1 week but they understood. On my last day on that job I get a call from BBH telling me they ran my credit report and decided to reneg the offer and (which I got the offer in writing and by phone). I told them that I had given my notice 1 week ago and today (friday) was my last day and that I strained my relationship for the 1 week notice so I can start right away with BBH. Anyway I asked them to reconsider because I already quit my job to work for them and they told me "why don't you try asking for your job back?". I was more than livid but I remained calm and wrote BBH a letter telling them that I cannot ask for my job back and they will not take me back and (no employer would in their right mind) would take someone back after a short notice. Anyway, I had no job for 6 months and had to work as temp because I didn't have unemployment insurance. I don't like Elizabeth Warren but I think this is a good bill.

  • LAND OF THE FREE!! LAND OF THE FREE!!

    Wait … what's your credit rating?

    LAND OF THE FREE!! (for some) LAND OF THE FREE!! (for some)

    Hahahahahaha, enjoying your freedoms and rights, Americans?

  • I was a victim of this. in Bush's economy I was laid off and had to stop paying credit cards for a few months while I looked for a new job. I made housing, transportation, food, etc a priority. I interviewed for a position, nailed it, took their personality assessment bullshit, nailed it, passed the criminal and drug screen, had my credit pulled, and they decided not to hire me because of 3 credit cards each under $1500 not being paid while I was unemployed. I even drafted a detailed letter to the company explaining my situation and explaining that the credit cards were paid in full at the time. They didn't care.

    Apparently my credit score was a better indicator of my abilities than my education and prior experience. It's sad. Credit scores should reflect your financial position in real time and not be damaged by something that happened years prior. Situations change. Credit scores seem arbitrary.

  • Well…this might explain why even a place like Walmart,won't hire me.How ironic,that I wanted to come out of retirement,DUE to my bad credit,for extra income to FIX my bad credit.
    So in effect,I can't improve my credit,because I have bad credit.

  • Doesn't bad credit means you owe lots of money? Doesn't owning money mean you REALLY need the job? Doesn't really needing a job mean you will work hard so you don't get fired? The way I see it, a person with bad credit would be a better, harder working employee.

  • This is also proxy racial discrimination. They often use proxies for race to discriminate against people in hiring. For example, in the past, they would use arrest records (not convictions) to discriminate in hiring. The fact is, an innocent black man was something like, 3-7 times more likely to get arrested for some crime he didn't do just because he lived in a black neighborhood. As a result, they were declining more blacks for jobs over arrest records. Don't black people generally have worse credit ratings than other groups? I personally think they are using it, in part, to keep black folks out.

    This needs to be taken to the supreme court so they can ban it as a practice just like we banned using arrests as a reason to turn down potential employees.

  • maybe they had a medical emergency, maybe their spouse ran ran up a huge credit card debt, maybe their last employer fired them for no reason and they borrowed while looking for a new job, on and on. It has nothing to do with your work and everything to do with How wealthy your family is. In other words, another tool to keep the rich up and keep the poor down.

  • If they do this, why not allow them to demand you tell them how tall you are, and only hire tall people. It would be trivial to make a case for that, most presidents have been tall, many successful athletes are tall, on and on. And of course once you make it law, there will be an even more impressive correlation between height and income, thereby making true what you were trying to prove. But again, we want the best people for the job, not base it on personal preferences.

  • This happens because HR is a leech on companies they "serve". In order to justify their bloated departments and higher salaries, HR has to keep coming up with tests and metrics.

    Why do they check credit scores? So they can then go senior management and say, "Look at all these potential problem hires we prevented!" Meanwhile the company rejects the best (talented, work ethic) candidates.

    Thankfully, AFAIK I've never been rejected based upon my credit score. My credit score recently went down due to a family emergency, and there's nothing I can do about that, except try to get it back up. If a company doesn't want to hire me, then I'll be happier working at a place that doesn't have its priorities in the wrong place.

  • I work for a comprehensive pre-employment background screening company where I see firsthand how credit ratings impact a candidate's hiring eligibility and it's sad, especially among people who's credit was damaged after the 2008 economic crash.

  • A guy lost his job, because the company he worked for fail. He couldn't pay his bills and his credit score goes down the tubes. Now he can't get a job because his company failed.

  • The way I look at pulling yourself up by the bootstraps. After a debilitating injury I told those people (My bootstraps are broken)

  • I have never used credit…well. Okay. Once! I bought a car when I was 18 and in the Navy on credit. I paid it off after I returned from a 6 month deployment. Since then I have followed on hard fast rule. I put the amount I expect to pay into savings for the period I expect to pay. Then I go in, drop the entire amount down and buy the item, (cars, appliances, two houses, etc) with cash. As a result, I have a terrible credit history…just enough to say I have used credit but no entries since 1978. It has not happened that I needed to apply for a job where they require that information, (and I change jobs a lot) but if it ever did, I would refuse and continue the process. If they refuse I ask for a written assessment and just cause for the refusal. I DARE them to put in writing they turned me down for not providing my credit history. I would never need to save up to buy anything every again cause I would end up with a HUGE amount in my account thanks to the law suit.

  • This makes no sense, employers will want the best person for the job, why an employer would base who gets the job seems ridiculous to me and if they're buying into the pitch that credit score reflects a person's character then I would question how they became an employer in the first place.

  • It's about the big picture. Hiring an employee is an investment. As a responsible business owner I do not want to hire someone who cannot take responsibility for their personal finances. It does a disservice to the other employees I have if I hire someone who takes responsibility for their actions as badly at work as they do at home. I do find it funny that the people that gripe about this are probably in the same boat…. no responsibility in life, have nothing to offer the marketplace in return for a decent paycheck, yet want that minimum wage to be $15 an hour to flip burgers.The same people who goofed off in school, got poor grades, never want to do the tough work to better themselves seem to think they are "Entitled" to the same things as those that bust their asses to learn a trade, or put themselves through college. It's Liberal Logic 101.

  • Let's hope this bill doesn't get murdered in the House. I hope I get a chance to vote for Warren some time.

  • Not all businesses do pre-employment credit checks. I would imagine a bank would, because it would be pretty stupid for a bank to hire someone with bad credit. That's just common sense.

  • Reading the comments here, yes. They have been allowing these companies to gouge people in every way possible, not trickle down their winnings into your paychecks as promised, outsource jobs instead, even. Hell, sometimes they even bring in people from other countries for their employees to train before they are let go in order to get cheaper engineers and accountants and shit.  Insurance and other necessities are more expensive in some less affluent areas. An employer can scrutinize you nine ways to sunday when it is such an employer's market, and if someone falls down that doesn't have connections or is very wealthy, they don't want you to get up. That want you in a position to place blame upon and keep diverting people from all the truths you are facing. This is a big part of the increasing wealth divide, the growing gap. Vote out any that won't address this issue and put in someone who will.  If you don't have time to review all of their votes and stances, vote in a Democrat and we will all hold their feet to the fire to get shit done in that first year or two. If your Democrat sucks and is a corporate special interests kinda guy or gal, do something about it in the primaries.

  • I'm indifferent about credit checks before jobs. I believe it is meant to stop possible theft, but honestly I wouldn't care if it were taken out. That being said about Elizabeth Warren's concern regarding credit checks harming credit score seems odd to me for the following reason.

    Credit checks come in two form, hard check and soft check. A hard check happens when you are requesting a loan and a soft check happens when you are looking for an apartment, looking for a job, etc.

  • You know…the real thing is: The world, the government, corporations…you just have to GET OFF PEOPLE'S BACKS. People MUST have a certain degree of autonomy and control over their lives — they can't be made to feel so vulnerable from so many directions all the time. Everybody is angry these days, and a HUGE part of it is that we all feel "controlled" in various ways by the powerful. If they don't start to BACK OFF, there will be trouble. It's just a human reality.

  • The woman in the video sounds like someone with a bad credit score: "You do anything even remotely wrong and your credit score goes down! It means nothing!" Yeah, honey, it's surprising employers don't want to hire you for a position of responsibility when you maxed out three credit cards on fancy designer clothes and got your car repo'd.

  • Wow, I actually agree with a liberal. Credit is a weird thing. I am almost virtually debt free. My home is paid for and I went to apply for a home equity loan and found out that having no credit card debt or mortgage debt or car debt is actually bad. But why an employer would base a hiring decision on ones credit score is just strange.

  • Insurance companies also use this BS as though losing a job and or having to file a bankruptcy has something to do with your ability to drive safely.

  • twCableAol is not synchronizing with other social websites all fridayNight blocking sharing in InlandEmpire 10/9 – 10/10/15 … TPP rehearsal … wtf !!!! uTube videos won't make it 2facebook only google+ … check it out <3 (Y) fb seizures

  • Credit scores are just the tip of the iceberg. Many employers are now delving into the health records of their employees and using the information in determining their health benefits.

  • what the hell does your credit rating have to do with needing a job to support your family?????????? thank you senator warren for bringing some sense into this madness.

  • Companies even go further now & not even ask about being convicted of a felony or crime but even if you WERE A DEFENDANT! ANYONE can be a defendant any time! Newsflash: defendants are not automatically 'bad guys'!

  • This is just another scapegoat for employers to use to discriminate against job applicants. Just because a person has bad credit nowadays doesnt mean they are a bad employee. After all why do they think people are trying to get a job? This just proves again the person with $ can get away with murder because they can buy their way out of their problems

  • It is so true that according to the Credit Score companies policy, the more any ones' credit is petition to be checked, it impacts NEGATIVELY on the score!! Quite a nonsense!!

  • I am 49 seconds into this video and I am already offended by the spin, the credit reporting companies are trying to push their product by selling the idea that credit is a measure of character. The boys at the YT immediately want to change that into workplace success.
    Now this has me scratching my head because over here on the left we are kind of at odds with the morality in the current business world and would kind of welcome people of good character being being given more opportunities in the work place. So why is a liberal show pushing the narrative that all we are looking for is driven successful people?
    I suppose it all comes down to do you believe that people who make good on their debts are of superior character to those who do not. I have already made my decision on this matter, but will leave you to your own opinion.
    There is the secondary issue of excessive credit inquiries affecting your credit, but I am assuming these are all soft hits. I am going to watch the rest of the video, but at 49 seconds that is how it is shaking out.

  • Hi, folks – the Elizabeth Warren photo being used as the still image to promote this video is a photo of mine. Can you please credit the image to Tim Pierce, with a link to the original at https://www.flickr.com/photos/qwrrty/8152000438/? Thanks!

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