In this new and strange age where the formerly middle class find themselves having more in common with the truly downtrodden, we now are seeing all types of articles being written that while its news to the newly not so middle class, its truths that the poor and working class have long known.
You are in need of a job, you have a great series of interviews, your references check out, just one more thing…a credit check. Depending on who you are, that may not phase you but if you are like growing numbers of Americans, you feel your stomach jump and know that the perfect job is now most likely not going to be your job. Don’t believe me? Check out this story. It tells a truth that I have known for years both professionally in the work I have done with clients back when I was working with the homeless as well as in my personal life. Though the two gigs I landed that required credit checks still hired me, though one wonders why does a position as an adjunct instructor at a community college require a credit check?
In this story, folks are facing the cold hard truth that truly jacked up credit can indeed prevent keep you from getting a job which seems silly. Don’t get me wrong, certain jobs especially ones dealing with cash, it makes a certain amount of sense to check an applicant’s credit history. But to answer a phone, be a clerk, teach?…come on now? Do these things really require knowledge of an applicant’s credit history? Furthermore, to deny a person a job based off a lousy FICO score and open collections, how sane is that?
Look, for starters not everyone doesn’t pay their bills because they are a fucking deadbeat. We are living in a time where there are untold numbers of folks who are underemployed…college grads making way less than they need to survive, folks who want jobs with bennies forced to do contract work or freelance work. People who earn money but in many cases after they pay the bills they have to pay to stay housed and fed, simply don’t earn enough to pay anyone else. Maybe they should get a second job but in many professional jobs, the days of the 40 hour work-week are a thing of the past, so having time to work a second job is not always an option. Or maybe they are already working two jobs to keep a roof over their head…what then?
So you ask why did they get in debt in the first place? Well considering the number one cause of personal bankruptcy in the US is medical bills, it seems a lot of folks get sick. I know firsthand the joys of having health insurance and ending up in the hospital only to have your insurance carrier not cover the bill, shit, I am still paying on my kid’s birth 4 years later.
What about folks who had good jobs?Life happened and they had to use a credit card to pay something, they had every intention of paying it off but their hours got cut or they lost their job? It happens more than you think. I have often felt that credit reports don’t tell the whole story…after all Bernie Madoff was a seemingly upstanding fellow until he decided to let the whole world know he was really a crook. I bet he had an excellent credit report! Or the boys and girls of Wall Street and all those top notch money outfits, bet they too have and had stellar credit reports all the while working the system and eventually requiring us average Joe’s with maybe shitty credit scores to come and bail them out! See, where I am going? Credit scores may work for some things but can they really tell the whole story? Look, my credit score my tell you not to loan me money for a car based off the fact I have medical bills but I can assure you that for most folks since a car gets you around, paying the car payment will take priority over that hospital bill. Yet the poor and un-creditworthy don’t get a chance. That’s why buy here pay here places exist to bilk those with shitty credit thus continuing the circle of fucking the poor and working class, and now the formerly middle class.
It’s things like this that remind us once again that in America you need more that bootstraps to move up the ladder, you need a great credit score too! Yet for many Americans, a permanent second class is being created where the folks with the power are working hard to keep the little folks out and maybe even down for good.
Have a great Friday!