News & Resources

Civil rights, labor groups call on TransUnion to stop selling credit reports to employers

Oct 17, 2011 Matt Roesly

This week, a coalition of civil rights and labor groups released a petition imploring one of the nation's largest credit-monitoring firms to quit selling consumer credit reports to employers. The news came the same day as the state of California passed legislation restricting employers' ability to cite credit information in making hiring decisions. The group argued that referencing credit histories in vetting job applicants can trap the jobless and disproportionately burden black and Latino candidates, according to the Huffington Post. Specifically, the group is petitioning credit-monitoring firm TransUnion to stop making personal credit reports available to employers. Advocates argued that TransUnion, being the only privately held company of the big three credit-monitoring firms - the others being Experian and Equifax - has the ability to enact the policy immediately without stockholder objections. "Employers understand that individuals, who have been unemployed as a result of these difficult times, may have also had difficulty keeping up with their financial obligations," said TransUnion spokeswoman Colleen Tunney-Ryan, according to the source. "What employers are interested in, is whether an individual acted prudently while he or she was employed. A pre-employment report is one tool to help them assess that."