New Illinois law protects job applicants' credit reports

Employers will no longer be able to look up job applicants' credit histories under a new Illinois law.

January 3, 2011

By Ashley Gross

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A new law in Illinois prevents employers from looking up a job applicant’s credit report, except in certain cases. Increasingly, employers have been looking up people’s credit histories when they apply for a job. The new law in Illinois makes that illegal. Representative Greg Harris was one of the sponsors. He says in some cases, a person’s credit history isn’t relevant to their job.

"For instance if a person’s going to go work in a warehouse, if they’ve missed a mortgage payment, why should they not be able to bring home the paycheck for their family?" Harris said.

The law does make exceptions for banks, insurance companies and some government agencies. It also allows employers to consider credit history when hiring people for managerial positions.