Credit Check for employment???

  1. Is this legal? What does it have to do with my being suitable for employment? I have nothing to hide, however I am very squeamish about having all of my financial records out there for anyone to see! I understand about a background check...but why my financials?

    Can I say no to this part of the process?

    thanks!
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  2. 32 Comments

  3. by   traumaRUs
    Many facilities are now going to this. From what I have heard, the facilities believe that a potential job candidate's financial security and integrity at repaying loans, credit cards all lend itself to the candidates overall responsibility factor.
  4. by   FutureNurse2005
    ok, that makes sense. But what about a person who needs a job to continue paying those bills! lol Or someone who has bad credit from an earlier period in their life?

    But is it legal? Can a candidate refuse?
  5. by   RobCPhT
    (management training now) Those questions have to be related to the job. I don't see how a credit check could be related to a job unless you were a finanacial director or something. The only way that would be legal is if there was some study that showed all criminals have bad credit. I would not want to work for a company that checks your credit for a nursing position. Besides that it reduces your credit score because they look into it.
  6. by   caroladybelle
    Yes, it is legal in many places to run a credit check and no, you do not have to be in a money/finance handling position, to have one required of you.

    Please do a search on this topic as there are dozens of threads on the issue. Especially interesting are the ones on "Group One" a "so-called" credit reporting agency.

    Do you have to permit them run one? Like w/drug screens, checking references, etc, if you want the job, you will probably have to allow the screen. In many places, your ap has a place for a signature at the bottom that permits drug screening and credit check. If you do not sign, you will not be considered for a job.
  7. by   TazziRN
    Quote from RobCPhT
    (management training now) Those questions have to be related to the job.
    Not true. Government employees and contractors needing security clearances have them done every few years. Reasoning: someone with bad credit is in financial trouble and may be susceptible to treason.
  8. by   mercyteapot
    I don't think they have access to your full financial records. I've obtained my own credit report, and it just shows my overall credit score and how many active accounts I have, how many I've closed, the total amount I owe, and any delinquencies. Unless you're applying for a job for which you'd need security clearance, that is probably all your employer will see... not to whom you owe money, etc.
  9. by   Sheri257
    It is legal but only if you sign a consent form authorizing the credit check. Of course, if you don't sign it then they may not consider your application.

    And actually, there may be a good business reason for checking credit reports, even if you don't manage money for the hospital.

    If you don't pay student loans, for example, you can potentially end up on the Inspector General's list of problem healthcare workers. And, if that's the case ... and a hospital hires you, they can lose Medicare and other government program payments.

    So ... with a credit check ... they might be trying to make sure your paying student loans, etc. so they can avoid potential problems with Medicare, etc.

    :typing
    Last edit by Sheri257 on Aug 13, '06
  10. by   mydesygn
    Check the threads on Group One. You may be asked to fill out a "consumer report" and not a "credit report". If the verbage is a "consumer report" than it is more than a typical credit report.
    http://allnurses.com/forums/showthre...1185427&conly=
  11. by   maryshome8
    One of the first jobs I had when I graduated from college is working for a background investigations company.

    Think of it this way: You know how auto-insurance and health insurance companies make decisions about who they are and are not going to cover based on statistics on calculated risk?

    This is the same reason why the credit report is being checked, and yes, it is a full credit report, no different than if you were applying for a loan.

    People worry about their credit score or because they are having trouble paying a couple of bills...trust me, this is NOT what your employer is looking for.

    What they are looking for is current, major financial problems. Large judgements, major tax liens, pending bankruptcy, tens of thousands of debt and barely making the minimums.

    Now, you may ask, HOW is this relevent to nursing?

    Not that everyone that was a nurse would do this...but you can bet money, that statistics show, that nurses that are in serious financial trouble are more than likely to steal from the hospital. How easy would it be for someone to short a patient a few pills here or there if they had a customer, or hell, swipe a whole bottle, and sell them to the highest bidder?

    1 in 3 nurses have drug addiction problems...it's a SERIOUS issue at hospitals.

    Before my mother was director of nursing she would very often find pills that were packaged in rolls....they were numbered, and how many each nurse would take and what numbers they took was recorded...but when they got to the end of the roll, they would find 20 or 30 pills missing...as they were stealing them from the end of the roll.

    It has nothing to do with integrity and character...it has more to do with calculated risk.
  12. by   VivaLasViejas
    Quote from maryshome8

    Not that everyone that was a nurse would do this...but you can bet money, that statistics show, that nurses that are in serious financial trouble are more than likely to steal from the hospital. How easy would it be for someone to short a patient a few pills here or there if they had a customer, or hell, swipe a whole bottle, and sell them to the highest bidder?

    1 in 3 nurses have drug addiction problems...it's a SERIOUS issue at hospitals.
    Mark Twain said it best: there are three kinds of lies---lies, damned lies, and statistics.

    While there is no doubt that SOME nurses have drug problems and/or financial issues, I would ask that members please check their facts before posting potentially misleading statements such as these. We have many future nurses here on the boards, as well as those who are still considering becoming nurses, and I for one would hate to see them discouraged from doing so because some poll (which may or may not be scientific) claims that one-third of us are addicts, while another says we're more likely to have financial problems that may drive us to steal drugs.

    Doesn't do much for nursing's image, does it? Yet we have consistently ranked in the top five among America's most trusted professions, and have actually been #1 for the past two or three years. We must be doing something right, don't you think?

    Off my soapbox now. Thank you.
    Last edit by VivaLasViejas on Aug 13, '06
  13. by   AngelicLady
    I don't think it's right. Period. I don't care who tries to justify it to me. Can they do it? Yes they can. They do it where I work (a very large corporation) and bad credit can prevent you from getting a job there (I do not work in the medical field at this point, and I do not handle cash). This is just another way for "the man" to stick it to people. It will eventually come down to only what people consider "the elite" being able to get decent paying jobs. Also, like it was said before, if you refuse you don't even get an interview. They will think you are hiding something. What? I don't know. Just remember that the government ALLOWS them to run credit checks for employability. I think it will eventually come down to a credit check for every single job out there that pays a decent salary.
  14. by   catlady
    Quote from mjlrn97


    While there is no doubt that SOME nurses have drug problems and/or financial issues, I would ask that members please check their facts before posting potentially misleading statements such as these. We have many future nurses here on the boards, as well as those who are still considering becoming nurses, and I for one would hate to see them discouraged from doing so because some poll (which may or may not be scientific) claims that one-third of us are addicts, while another says we're more likely to have financial problems that may drive us to steal drugs.
    Excellent point.

    Here are a few more credible sources:

    http://www.ksbn.org/knap.htm

    "Mental and physical illness, including alcohol and other drug addiction, can potentially impair practice and health. We estimate that at any given time, approximately 10% of the population is affected. This same percentage is thought to be true of healthcare professionals."

    http://www.nursezone.com/stories/SpotlightOnNurses.asp?articleID=11665

    [FONT=verdana, arial, helvetica, sans-serif]"On average, nurses have problems with addiction at the same rate as anyone else," said Dr. James Lea, chief of medical services and director of the health professional treatment program at Hazelden Springbrook in Newberg, Oregon.
    [FONT=verdana, arial, helvetica, sans-serif]"That would be 12 to 14 percent of the nurse population could be diagnosed as alcoholic at some point in their life, not any one point," he added. "The lifetime prevalence for drug abuse or addiction is 6 to 7 percent."

    [FONT=verdana, arial, helvetica, sans-serif]
    http://www.wpxi.com/target11/7554177/detail.html

    [FONT=verdana, arial, helvetica, sans-serif]
    "
    It's estimated between 10 and 15 percent of all nurses in the U.S. are addicts."


    --
    Not comforting numbers, but certainly not a case where you look to the left and look to the right and one of you is an addict.

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