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Checking Credit

OPB | Feb. 8, 2010 9 a.m. | Updated: Sept. 10, 2013 9:14 p.m.

If you apply for a job in Oregon today, your potential employer can ask to pull your credit report as part of the application process. A group of Democratic Oregon lawmakers have introduced a bill that would change that. People applying to work in a bank or law enforcement would still be subject to a credit check, but retail, food service and many other types of employers would be restricted from considering an applicant’s credit history.

Lawmakers in Washington passed a similar bill in 2007, making the case that credit checks were an unnecessary barrier to employment for many middle class Washingtonians. Business interest groups argue that regardless of the job, a prosepective employee’s credit history is relevant because it can be an indication of judgement and responsibility. 

At least four other states have considered laws that would restrict employers’ access to credit history as part of the screening process for employees. The federal government is also looking into changes to the rules that determine how credit checks are carried out.

Are you looking for a job? Do you think your credit history could hold you back from finding one? Are you an employer? What role does an applicant’s credit report play in your hiring process?

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