Today, when people talk about bad credit rating, you'd think it was the modern day equivalent of Nathaniel Hawthorne's Scarlet Letter. Once branded as a bad credit risk, you jeopardize your ability to get a good job, qualify for a mortgage, secure a happy life.
Rep. Marcus Oshiro contributed background information for Karen Aho's story on bad credit which appears on MSN. Money. Here's the link. The story is about how credit reports are used to determine not only your ability to handle debt but your character as a person. Critics say that the process is unfair and that bad credit is not an indicator of whether you are qualified for a job. Rep. Oshiro talked to Aho about his 2005 bill, HB750, which prohibits the use of credit history for the hiring or termination of employees. The bill did not pass.
In 2006, 42% of employers used credit history as part of background checks in determining whether to hire new employees. That's up from 35% in 2003 and 19% in 1996. With the current mortgage lending crisis and bad economy, that figure is bound to increase.