Enough With Credit Checks for Low-Level Jobs
by Anthony Stasi
Jan 21, 2015 | 4975 views | 0 0 comments | 84 84 recommendations | email to a friend | print
The City Council is right to be thinking about a bill that would make it harder for would-be employers to run credit checks.

The credit check as a measurement of a person’s sense of responsibility is not terribly accurate. Some in the City Council see the credit checks as a disadvantage to groups who may have been victims to credit schemes, but even if that were not the case, what does a credit check do other than provide an easy metric to employers?

Putting aside those positions where it would be necessary to have good credit, lower-level positions are often pursued by people who are either starting out or looking to get back on track. Getting the job would likely put them on a path to a better credit rating.

People with less money, lower credit scores, or a history of hitting career speed bumps are the ones who need these jobs. At the higher levels, a credit check might make more sense, but we do not need more ways to keep people out of the job market. Too many credit checks can also lower a person’s score.

A few years ago, I rented an apartment to a young man who was renting his first apartment after working his first job for about a year. My building was strict about checking his credit and financial history.

The management company called me when I was living in Washington temporarily. “Do you know he only has a few thousand dollars in his savings account?” they said. In other words, they felt I should have been worried about that information.

“How many Americans do you think have a few thousand dollars in savings at his young age?” I asked them. It was my unit, I was responsible for my mortgage. I didn’t care what a credit score told me. I relied on my own skill-set in making a decision.

This obsession with credit scores is no different from the way school admission boards claim they are not glued to standardized test scores even though they totally are. The credit check for a job that does not require it is just a way of being lazy.

People want a numeric answer to a human question. Credit scores do not tell the whole story as to how a score got to where it is.

Maybe a law banning credit checks is a strong reaction, but the sentiment is understandable. The experience of finding a job in this expensive city is daunting enough.

No Question About Yank Bullpen

If there is any off-season, hot-stove baseball discussion about who should be the Yankees’ closer out of the bullpen this year, it should be a very short conversation.

Dellin Betances was lights out last year as the set up man for then-closer David Robertson. The Yankees did not get rid of Robertson; he chose to sign with the White Sox, thus making most of his upcoming post-July appearances meaningless.

Betances is the one “Killer B” left in the Yankee stable of former pitching prospects (the other two being Manny Banuelos and Andrew Brackman). He is a homegrown fire-baller, and he apprenticed the same way that Mariano Rivera did with John Wetteland.

He is a kid from right here in Washington Heights that made good. This is the kind of pitcher that fans can rally around, the kind that gives a team an identity.

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