It is common practice for a company to check a prospective employees credit before offering him or her a position. A 2010 poll conducted by the Society for Human Resource Management revealed that 47 percent of employers involve credit checks in the background screening process for jobs where handling cash is prevalent, Time Moneyland reports. In addition, 13 percent of respondents stated that they use credit checks no matter what the job entails.
"We pull them because they're handling cash and multiple credit cards," Amanda Marcello, vice president of Eleven Forty Nine restaurant, told WJAR-TV. "In this business, there's just so much access to so much information. This is a very common practice." However, for recent graduates or the unemployed, a credit check may become an insurmountable barrier toward paying off debt. Beth Givens, director of nonprofit advocacy project Privacy Rights Clearinghouse, also believes it unfairly judges an applicant. "They're making a value judgment that says your financial health determines your character," she told Time. "They're using it for character assessment, which is totally invalid." In some states, credit checks have become a thing of the past. Hawaii, Washington, Oregon and Illinois have all passed laws that limit the use of credit information during a background check.