U.S. Treasury Suggests Employers Use Credit Scores
Federal Government public service announcement television spot refers to credit scores in employment setting
Contrary to statements from the three national credit reporting agencies, the United States Department of the Treasury suggests that employers use credit scores in hiring decisions.
In its public service announcement television spot "Capiche," the Treasury shows a young woman entering a dingy office and saying to her new employer, "Thank you for overlooking my credit score."
The spot announcement provides an address to the Department's website Bad Credit Hotel (www.controlyourcredit.gov), where the agency warns, "Whether applying for a job, taking out a loan, or making a big purchase, a high credit score gives you options."
Capiche was created by advertising agency Lowe Worldwide in affiliation with the non-profit Ad Council.
Bad Credit Hotel is a collaboration of Lowe New York and Firstborn Multimedia.
The Treasury PSA can also be found on the video website YouTube:
Replying to creditcoring.com in April, consumer reporting agencies Equifax, Experian and TransUnion all denied providing credit scores to employers for employment screening. However, as previously reported on creditscoring.com, other government, media and legal-profession players make the claim that credit scores are, indeed, part of employers' pre-employment screening.
On the home page of its website myFICO.com, a Fair Isaac video states:
In addition to credit decisions, your FICO credit score may be used to determine if a landlord will rent to you, or even if an employer will hire you. That's right. That little three-digit number between three-hundred and eight-fifty impacts your financial life in a lot of ways.
In late 2007, VISA began claiming that credit scores are used in employment screening. Then, Fair Isaac—who sells credit scores—parroted the same claim. Asked earlier this month to substantiate its assertion, Fair Isaac replied that "the myFICO video clip was based on anecdotal information gleaned from public sources such as published articles." Called on to explain itself, VISA similarly used the term "anecdotally."
VISA's website still features a graphic on the front page which states, "WHEN YOU'RE READY FOR A REAL JOB you'll be glad you have a good credit score."