Tuesday, April 23, 2013
The New York Times today has an editorial supporting a bill before the New York City council banning the use of credit history to eliminate job applicants in most jobs, except in a narrow range where credit checks are required by law or direct handling of money is involved. The link is here.
Part of the rationale for the bill is the tremendous number of errors in credit reports, and the difficulty in fixing them. The error problem – greatly exacerbated by identity theft – tends to drive people into structural unemployment and poverty, as does simply the idea of having made “one mistake”.
When I worked for Chilton (the predecessor of Experian) in Dallas in the 1980s, credit reports of employees was not required until 1987, and then that was dropped when TRW acquired it. But for a while a few employees were put on discipline or warning for having late payments in their credit histories..
Tuesday, April 02, 2013
The column “Hints from Heloise” discusses how to use the consumer “opt out prescreen” facility, with the link here. The column, on p. C5 of the April 2m 2013 Washington Post, was not online yet.
The column says it is all right to give your social security number and date of birth when you use the site, or call “1-888-5-OPTOUT”. But you can skip those questions , say nothing, and move to the next prompt.
But use of the questions may help the service identify you if others have the same name.
The Federal Trade Commission has a page on prescreened credit card and insurance offers, here.