Photo: Flickr/Credit Confidential
Credit expert John Ulzheimer took to Credit Sesame’s blog today to debunk one of the most pervasive myths in the credit world: That an applicants’ poor credit score will somehow affect their chances at scoring a job.”I’ve often called the credit score and employment myth the unicorn of the credit world—a lot of people have heard of them, but nobody has actually ever seen them,” says Ulzheimer, president of consumer education at SmartCredit.com.
He’s spent a good chunk of his career trying to dispel the idea altogether, but Suze Orman’s recent campaign to promote her new prepaid debit card – in which she eludes to the fact that not having a FICO score could cost consumers a job – is threatening to undo all those efforts, he says.
Here’s the truth: Credit scores are never sold by credit reporting agencies for employment screening purposes.
Here’s how you can be sure: Ulzheimer tracked down the only three agencies authorised to distribute credit reports – TransUnion, Experian and Equifax. Because you can’t get a credit score without getting a report from those agencies first, employers would have to go through those companies if they wanted yours.
And all three agencies told him the same thing. There’s no way they’d sell credit scores to employers for screening purposes.
Now, for the final blow: “If public statements provided by every one of the national credit reporting agencies isn’t enough to convince you that scores are not used by employers—I reached out to the Consumer Data Industry Association, the trade association of the credit reporting agencies, and asked them the same thing,” Ulzheimer says.
“They confirmed what I already knew, which is the practice doesn’t happen and that the confusion is likely being caused by people using the terms interchangeably as if they were the same thing.”
There you have it, folks.