NJ bill would restrict use of credit reports for hiring

A bill recently approved by the New Jersey Senate Labor committee would prevent employers from using credit reports as criteria for hiring.

The bill would prevent companies from using credit history as a determining factor in the hiring process, unless a credit report was required, such as for managerial positions involving money. Lawmakers said it might help reduce unemployment and be fairer to all residents.

"You're saying that because a person has lost their home, because a person has not been able to pay their credit card debt, they cannot be treated with respect and dignity and giving an opportunity for honest employment," said state Senator Sandra Cunningham.

Several other states also have varying restrictions in place regarding how credit reports can be used in the employment process. Nationwide, the Federal Trade Commission requires that employers ask for permission before reviewing an applicant's credit report.

Before applying for a job, consumers may wish to review their credit reports for any erroneous or unfair markings. By doing so, they can guarantee an employer will see their true credit history.