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Members of Congress say credit scores are used by employers

A bill is introduced while the consumer reporting agencies say that they do not even sell credit scores for employment screening.

Also, see

National Financial Literacy Month, 2011 (video),
Myth: Employers use credit scores


United States House of Representatives Resolution 3149 of the first session of the 111th Congress was introduced on July 9, 2009, and was referred to the House Committee on Financial Services the same day. The sponsor "unveiled" the legislation 20 days later.


Sponsor Representative Steve Cohen's press release states, "Far too often, employers turn down 'credit challenged' applicants because they have erroneously linked credit scores to potential job performance."

Further, appearing at the unveiling was another House member whose press release states, "Tomorrow, U.S. Congressman Luis V. Gutierrez (D-IL), Chair of the Subcommittee on Financial Institutions and Consumer Credit, will join Congressman Steve Cohen (D-TN) in unveiling new legislation to prohibit current and prospective employers from using credit scores as part of the hiring or firing processes."

However, H.R. 3149 does not contain the words "credit score." And, consumer reporting agencies Equifax, TransUnion and Experian do not provide credit scores for employment screening.

Life imitates art

There are two schools in the credit-score-use-by-employers story. Some say that they are provided to employers (including the Federal Reserve, the Department of the Treasury, and Equifax, TransUnion and Experian), and some say that they do not provide them (including Equifax, TransUnion and Experian).

During the noise after the legislation's announcement, a guest—a provider of consumer reports for employment purposes—on Fox News makes the point that they don't even sell credit scores with the reports that they provide. Ignoring that, the interviewer uses the employers/scores line again.

Appearing with the congressmen at the press conference was U.S. PIRG who corresponded with regarding U.S. PIRG's line about employers using credit scores.

Congress plans to make perpetual motion illegal later this year.

From: Greg Fisher
Sent: Thursday, August 13, 2009 2:00 PM
To: Steven Broderick (Cohen), Rebecca Dreilinger (Gutierrez)
Cc: Hassan Christian (Meek), Joyce Posell (Meek), Clarence Williams (Meek)
Subject: credit score, employers, HR 3149

You state that employers do not hire job applicants because the employers "have erroneously linked credit scores to potential job performance."

Consumer reporting agencies Equifax, TransUnion and Experian all state that they do not provide credit scores for employment screening. Your legislation does not contain the word "score."

What evidence suggests that employers use credit scores?


[January 29, 2010 email to the congressman and co-sponsors]

creditscoring on twitter Facebook Page:  The Credit Scoring Site, YouTube Channel:  The Credit Scoring Site,
Reddit overview for CreditScoring email The Credit Scoring Site,
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Do employers use credit scores?

Don't believe it.

April, 1997: "Information on how to obtain one's credit score is suspiciously absent from your site. How do I get mine?"

"And we're not running a game show. I mean, we're evaluating risk. We're not trying to have people get--achieve the highest score."

"Fisher is a fan of going by the book and then beyond it."

"He beat the scoring proponents to the punch by scooping up the web address, from which he launches often strident, sometimes wacky, but usually well-documented attacks on the credit-scoring concept and the industries that support it."

Realty Consumers Empowered By Online "Peoples" Court - "His Web site helped him-- and millions of other consumers-- extend fair credit reporting rights to credit scoring information."

"Fisher operates the Web site, which skewers the secrecy of the credit bureaus and Fair, Isaac." - The Detroit News

" is an exceptionally-interesting site that offers news and information regarding credit scoring and-- really-- the entire credit process."

"'Garbage in, garbage out,' says Greg Fisher of Dayton, Ohio, who runs two Web sites on the subject, and"