Random Inkings

January 11, 2008

Please Explain This To Me

Filed under: Uncategorized — Little Miss @ 8:27 am
Tags: , , , , , , , ,

How someone’s credit rating has anything to do with car insurance or getting a job? In the case of car insurance, I understand looking at their driving and accident record. In the case of jobs where you’re dealing with other people’s money, I can understand pulling their credit record. I could see where someone with thousands in gambiling debt might be tempted to embezzle, but the normal everyday Joe or Jane? Seriously. I don’t understand it.

Edited to add this: http://www.dallasnews.com/sharedcontent/dws/bus/stories/121207dnbushealthcredit.299ccc0.html

Just came across an article that shows there is another FICO scoring tool in the works – this one to check your MEDICAL risk. HUH? Read it for yourself. I’d love to know what you think on this one.

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6 Comments »

  1. The whole “Big Brother” mentality behind using credit scores is very frightening. And now the medical insurance will be effected? Geez, you just can’t win.

    I remember years ago when I wanted to pay off my own credit card debt by taking a second job part-time. I applied for a job to stock shelves at night at Filene’s department store, which was hiring a slew of Christmas help, but I was turned down because I had bad credit. I asked them how I would ever turn that around if I couldn’t get a job, and a job that didn’t even deal with touching money? They had no answer for me. My niece worked at Filene’s at the time and told me she suspected it had to do with the fact that the first thing the company does with new employees is issue them a Filene’s credit card. All the girls in her department, herself included, were teenagers who promptly maxed out the card by buying clothes and perfume. So then, their entire paycheck went to making payments on this credit card. Their credit was then bad, so they couldn’t even leave Filene’s because they’d never be hired by another store with such bad credit. They were indentured, basically.

    I don’t mean to be so long winded on this, but the whole social security number/credit thing is something that disturbes me. Buck wrote an editorial on how car rental companies have begun to use your credit in more creative and damaging ways as a stepping stone to further mess up your life. Here’s an excerpt from it:

    All right, so who cares about rental cars you say? Well it’s just the start of the testing grounds for other potential global positioning abuse. Remember the first time you found out that insurance companies were asking for your social security number so they could run a credit check on you to determine what rates to charge? That seemed absurd, but I’m sure they’ve got a boatload of statistics from their wizard-like actuaries who can predict your future and charge accordingly. Well now there are three states and a trial program has been started here in Texas which actively incorporates what they call telematics which monitors a driver’s behavior while they drive. The theoretical “benefit” supposedly is for poor drivers (who theoretically don’t have money for gas like rich people) and seniors who both don’t drive as many miles as the average driver. They can record their lower mileage (less time at risk) on a provided device that proves they should not have to pay as much because they don’t drive as much. Oh that sounds just lovely. Unfortunately, there’s also a lot of other information recorded by this free unit and passed on to the insurance companies’ data banks. Each and every trip you take is recorded for time and total mileage, in other words they’re tabulating your average speed. This also includes data on how much and how long you drove over 75 MPH and whether you braked or accelerated “aggressively.”

    Comment by Wendy — January 11, 2008 @ 10:24 am | Reply

  2. Sorry my comment is longer than your post.

    Comment by Wendy — January 11, 2008 @ 10:25 am | Reply

  3. Wendy, this is the kind of stuff that disturbs me as well. It really scares me.

    For this job that I *think* I want, I have to undergo a background investigation. That in itself is no big deal. I’m not a felon, I have no misdemeanors or DUIs. Just one speeding ticket going 70 in a 60 the month my divorce was final. That was nine years ago. The two accidents I’ve been in were not my fault. One was weather related and one was someone else rearending me. But this job – the one I think I want – also asked “Have you had or do you currently have financial problems? Have you ever been sent to collections?” Uh, yes and yes. This may be my undoing. After my divorce I went through about five years of financial hardship where, after I’d bought my house, I had to take a significant cut in pay, help prevent my daughter from being homeless, rescue her from an abusive boyfriend, and subsequently support her after she became disabled from a car accident. Hmmm. And this should affect whether I get a job? None of that impacts how well I can design an integrated set of end-user documents or edit a technical manual or document software functionality.

    What makes it worse is the embarassment of having to admit I’m not perfect. The company that they want me to work for has people like Bill Gates as clients. Seriously, if I had his money, I’d never have financial problems. Maybe people at that level are so far removed from reality that they don’t realize I’m more like the norm than the exception.

    And the pay with this job would make it so that I could be financially secure for some time to come. Hmmm. Just like the paradox you mentioned with the girls in the department store.

    I have to keep reminding myself that if it doesn’t work out, there’s something better in store for me.

    Comment by Little Miss — January 11, 2008 @ 1:30 pm | Reply

  4. Once in an HR class, we got into a heated discussion about credit ratings being used for hiring purposes. I’m completely against it, because it presents such a skewed picture of someone.

    Example: There are people who have no clue about how to pay bills– their parents or spouses take care of all of it. They could be dishonest and stupid, but they’d get the job before someone who works their bootie off to pay their bills, but may have had a spouse who spent them into the ground, or some sort of medical situation that messed up their rating.

    Our instructor got into the fray on this one. She told us that she was an upper middle class, stay at home wife, married to a lawyer. Her husband murdered someone, and completely wrecked her life as she knew it. She couldn’t pay the bills, she lost everything. Later, she went back to school, and eventually earned her Phd.

    She was such an amazing woman. How could anyone know that though, just by looking at her credit rating?

    You too are amazing, and thank God you’re not perfect. How obnoxious would that be?

    Comment by moonbeammcqueen — January 12, 2008 @ 9:59 am | Reply

  5. Perfect is obnoxious, you are right. LOL A financial planner came over yesterday to give me her proposal for my financial needs. I was very stressed about this credit rating thing for the job and mentioned it. She started saying things like “statistics show that people with poor credit ratings are more likely to change jobs more often” and crap like that. HUH? What statistics? I get almost irate when people toss out words like “statistics show” without citing their sources. Maybe it’s the editor in me. Now, I like this woman, and I think she was just spouting off what whe had been told or believed in. And she’s trying to sell me waaaay more insurance than I need. Like I can afford to buy anything right now anyway.

    You are right, MB. I am so against using a credit rating for anything other than obtaining credit. And I tend to lean towards what my dad used to tell me, which is that if you can’t pay cash for it, don’t get it. Not that he was perfect at doing that himself, he wasn’t. But he did try to practice and teach delayed gratification. He did something right cuz my mom’s pretty well off now.

    Life happens to people. Credit scores don’t reflect the human element.

    Comment by Little Miss — January 12, 2008 @ 11:06 am | Reply

  6. “Life happens to people. Credit scores don’t reflect the human element.”

    Exactly. You said in eleven words what took me 347.

    Comment by moonbeammcqueen — January 12, 2008 @ 2:46 pm | Reply


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