Are credit scores unconstitutional? - Mothering Forums

View Poll Results: Are credit scores unconstitutional?
Yes 23 16.91%
No 106 77.94%
Other 7 5.15%
Voters: 136. You may not vote on this poll

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Old 10-24-2008, 12:29 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Because I think they are. They *lean* towards discriminating against people based on circumstances that are out of their control, in my opinion. Example:You're young, you're a minority, you grew up with diminished opportunities to build credit. Then maybe you do better for yourself, go to school, get a better job, whatever. But this NUMBER is following you around everywhere you go, making it hard if not impossible to do necessary things. All because that NUMBER is "bad" or not high enough, because you had trouble getting started in life, or maybe you got sick and swamped with medical bills you couldn't keep up with.

I really do think credit scores are unconstitutional. And I hope to see the entire credit rating system either done away with or radically changed.

Thoughts?
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Old 10-24-2008, 12:33 AM
 
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No time to elaborate now, but I totally agree!
I think more attention needs to be put on this issue of injustice and inequality.

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Old 10-24-2008, 12:44 AM
 
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[QUOTE=Mama Poot;12454614] Example:You're young, you're a minority, you grew up with diminished opportunities to build credit. [QUOTE]

Huh? Your credit score doesn't know know whether you are minority. Are you suggesting that minorities be forgiven for bad credit because they didn't have enough opportunities to get themselves into credit trouble? Or that minorities be able to get into more credit trouble and then be forgiven because they "couldn't help it."

Just another way to trap people into pre-conceived stereotypes.

Jill H.

(lucky mom to Amelia 18, Camille 16, Evan 13, and Gracie 11)
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Old 10-24-2008, 12:46 AM
 
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I'd agree that it's a broken system, and that a credit score isn't always a good measure of an individuals credit worthiness, but I don't think anyone has a constitutional right to be lent money.
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Old 10-24-2008, 12:47 AM
 
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I completely agree.

DH has t1 diabetes, we've been swamped with medical bill after medical bill and our credit is TRASHED it's like less than 0 (well not literally but pretty dang close)

Renae wife to J :, Mama to 4.5y/o J-bird and 2y/o A : and E coming in late Dec/Early Jan. My husband had a living donor kidney transplant! :
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Old 10-24-2008, 12:54 AM - Thread Starter
 
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[QUOTE=acegmom;12454710][QUOTE=Mama Poot;12454614] Example:You're young, you're a minority, you grew up with diminished opportunities to build credit.
Quote:

Huh? Your credit score doesn't know know whether you are minority. Are you suggesting that minorities be forgiven for bad credit because they didn't have enough opportunities to get themselves into credit trouble? Or that minorities be able to get into more credit trouble and then be forgiven because they "couldn't help it."

Just another way to trap people into pre-conceived stereotypes.

Jill H.

(lucky mom to Amelia 18, Camille 16, Evan 13, and Gracie 11)
I'm not stereotyping anyone. I'm just stating the truth, and the truth is that minorities in this country, just like everywhere else, have lessened opportunities. And by that, I meant opportunities for getting good education, good jobs, which in turn provide them with the opportunity to buy a house, take out a loan for a car, etc etc...Not opportunities to "get into trouble". Where on earth would you get that idea??? Often times with young people and minorities alike, the problem with credit is not having enough "credit history". My sister recently had this problem and she desperately needed a reliable car for driving to work, so our grandfather took out the loan for her and she makes the payments to him. How is she expected to get ahead if she can't get to work? Paying $1000 cash for a junker that's just gonna break down was not an option for her. See where I'm going with this? Why should she, or anyone else, be discriminated against for "not having enough credit history", which could really be translated into being TOO YOUNG. Isn't discriminating against a person based on age unconstitutional? You see what I'm talking about now??
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Old 10-24-2008, 12:58 AM
 
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I don't think it's discrimination. Lending money is a risk. People have to prove that they are worth the risk. You prove you are worth the risk by demonstrating your ability to pay bills on time.. act responsibly with credit cards, etc (ie - everything that goes in your credit report).

I know it's a PITA. I moved to the US when I was 23 and didn't get a credit card until I was 26 or something. But I worked it out - earned my score and now I'm in good shape.

DS (6.06), DD (10.08), DD (05.11).

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Old 10-24-2008, 01:01 AM
 
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I think that what bothers me is that much of the credit system is faulted, and if someone steals your identity or somehow something happens that is not your fault you still get screwed. I had a former business partner and I transferred our business phone when I left to be a sahm, somehow the transfer put her info w/my soc # and I never received the last bill because it was hers, but under my soc # and her address. It was the company's F-up, but I got the shaft. My credit score dropped over 100 points because of a $50 phone she ordered that ended up on my #.

It took so much jumping through hoops and time to "fix" what someone else screwed up. That part makes me so mad, it has taken a year to get my score back up. If you dispute anything your treated like a criminal, except here it's guilty until proven innocent. Which I did, but it didn't help my score from 2 months of that sh** being on it, they don't fix that.:

Ok rant over...*deep breath*

Me Wife to T (14 years)Mama to Princess(4) and Monster Boy(my 1 year old ):
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Old 10-24-2008, 01:11 AM
 
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Originally Posted by notneb View Post
I'd agree that it's a broken system, and that a credit score isn't always a good measure of an individuals credit worthiness, but I don't think anyone has a constitutional right to be lent money.
:

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Old 10-24-2008, 01:23 AM
 
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original statement.

Too young for a credit score? Absolutely. Where does being a minority come into play at at all?

Credit is not a "constitutional" right. Equal consideration based on individual qualifications -- as it should be.

Don't link discrimination due to minority status with the "need" for credit for a car for a new graduate. You diminish your own argument, along with any general statement you think you are making.

Jill H.

(lucky mom to Amelia 18, Camille 16, Evan 13, and Gracie 11)
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Old 10-24-2008, 01:45 AM
 
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I chose other.

It is discriminatory in the sense of not extending credit to those who 'lack' time or have an 'adequate' yearly income. For example, taking out a loan for $8000 for a car that we put $11k down on was 'too risky' for lenders without that big of a downpayment. We make about 16,000 a year, so half of our income.

Ok, so why is it ok for someone making $60k a year to get a loan for $30k car? Kwim?

Anyways, it's also quite fair though. Dh & I are very good at paying our cc and loans. We have excellent credit. There are people who do not pay back what they charge. I think a lot of the times, bad credit is due to bad decision making. Yes, sometimes it's due to outside circumstances (bad job, medical) but I think a lot of the time people buy things with the card that they wouldn't buy if they had to use cash. No one needs cable, no one needs a flat screen tv, no one needs an expensive shiny new car, etc. But a lot of people who can't afford it on their own use credit cards to get these things, thereby creating problems with paying it back.

Ami

Wife to dh, Mommy to my heavenly angel, J (06), and my earthly angels, S (07) and E (10)

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Old 10-24-2008, 02:40 AM
 
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Here's my issue: when credit scores are used for non-credit granting purposes.

I don't think that people who have a history of defaults or poor credit should be given credit b/c they want it. (Myself included) So that doesn't bother me.

What bothers me is the fact that I have to submit to several credit checks in order to GET A JOB. We're not talking about a job handling money either-honestly it was easier for me to get a job as a casino dealer, looking at no less than half a million dollars a shift than for me to get other jobs. The reason? Credit rating is used as a gauge of "good moral character" and having a "good moral character" is a prerequsite for jobs in my field. They don't look at the fact that I was a first generation college student, living in poverty, caring for three children, an injured husband, a parent on the transplant list, while leading 2 student organizations, representing my college at several conferences, RUNNING MY OWN PROGRAM and still managing to graduate very close to the top of my class.

What they see is that I have an outstanding CC bill b/c of pay cuts, we can't pay our utilities for the same reason, and we're constantly behind on our car payments. We won't even hit the poverty level for a family of four this year and we are supporting 6. I am trying to better myself but if I can't get a job, what's the point?

That is what bothers me about the current system. I'm not upset about being unable to get a mortgage (much b/c that would be cheaper housing for us), or a better car, or credit to deal with some medical issues-I am not in a position to take on that responsibility right now. I AM upset that I am being "punished" for the crime of poverty, even though I am working very hard to pull myself out of it.
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Old 10-24-2008, 02:44 AM
 
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Originally Posted by notneb View Post
I'd agree that it's a broken system, and that a credit score isn't always a good measure of an individuals credit worthiness, but I don't think anyone has a constitutional right to be lent money.
Yup.

Though... some employers use it when doing background checks, don't they?
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Old 10-24-2008, 02:48 AM
 
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Good points. I have a real problem with credit scores being used for non-credit related things.

(or loosely credit-related things- insurance etc)

-Angela
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Old 10-24-2008, 02:53 AM
 
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Originally Posted by D_McG View Post
I don't think it's discrimination. Lending money is a risk. People have to prove that they are worth the risk. You prove you are worth the risk by demonstrating your ability to pay bills on time.. act responsibly with credit cards, etc (ie - everything that goes in your credit report).
:

There is no Constitutional right to borrow money.

Wife to a wonderful dh and mom to four beautiful kiddos, dd (3/04):, ds1 (1/06), ds2 (10/08), and ds3 (7/10)
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Old 10-24-2008, 10:05 AM
 
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Originally Posted by JTA Mom View Post
It is discriminatory in the sense of not extending credit to those who 'lack' time or have an 'adequate' yearly income. For example, taking out a loan for $8000 for a car that we put $11k down on was 'too risky' for lenders without that big of a downpayment. We make about 16,000 a year, so half of our income.

Ok, so why is it ok for someone making $60k a year to get a loan for $30k car? Kwim?
Because it's likely that someone making $60k a year could afford $6K a year in loan repayments (Assuming a 5 year loan and no interest payments b/c I'm too tired to calculate). And less likely to assume that someone making $16K a year could afford $1,600/year. The first person simply has more disposable income.

I do understand that it could be considered unfair to use credit scores in employment screenings. But at the same time I'm going to guess that there IS a correlation between credit scores and people's ability to commit to a job. Not an air-tight correlation at all. But I bet there is a link. And so I'm not incredibly opposed to using a score as one of MANY tools in screening applicants.

DS (6.06), DD (10.08), DD (05.11).

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Old 10-24-2008, 10:56 AM
 
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I'd like to see the evidence of credit scores and ability to commit to a job. That's not what I have found to be the issue, other people's experiences may differ.

My experience is that it's used more to determine a person's "worth", not their ability to commit or even perform the job duties. I can see using a credit score in a few situations, for example a fiscal officer of a company should be able to manage their own finances and a financial counselor should as well. However, it should not be used to disqualify someone from an entry level job. THAT supports classism and discrimination simply because of the demographic of those who are likely to have low credit scores.

I don't think the system itself is discriminatory, but the way the system is utilized may lend itself to discrimination. The system is just a method of quantifying a person's likelihood of repaying a loan, if I understand correctly-and even then it's not the only indicator b/c a person can have very low income and still have a higher credit score. Like many things, I think that it is beginning to be used for purposes other than what it was intended for and we are starting to see some unintended consequences of that use. It's the useage that bothers me about the system, not its existance.
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Old 10-24-2008, 11:07 AM
 
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I'd like to see the evidence of credit scores and ability to commit to a job.
I would too to be honest. I'm not sold on the theory and am open to evidence to the contrary.

DS (6.06), DD (10.08), DD (05.11).

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Old 10-24-2008, 12:11 PM
 
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It's not about committing to a job. It's just simply that those with poor credit scores are more likely to find themselves in financial trouble and more likely to steal from their employers. Employers lose a lot due to employee theft. Someone with good credit and sound financial decision making is less likely to steal. Also, when dh was in the Navy, there were people in his command that would lose their security clearances due to too much debt or bad credit scores. If you're having financial problems, you're more likely to take money from someone else to steal information.

Credit is not a constitutional right. It is a luxury.
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Old 10-24-2008, 12:25 PM
 
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Originally Posted by Mama Poot View Post
Why should she, or anyone else, be discriminated against for "not having enough credit history", which could really be translated into being TOO YOUNG. Isn't discriminating against a person based on age unconstitutional? You see what I'm talking about now??
Because without a proven record of the ability to handle money then a lender is CORRECT to be reluctant to lend to her. I keep coming back to this thread because I feel like I must be missing something. Should a lender just hand money to every young person in the interest of keeping things 'fair'? That's ridiculous.

DS (6.06), DD (10.08), DD (05.11).

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Old 10-24-2008, 12:41 PM
 
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I chose other.

It is discriminatory in the sense of not extending credit to those who 'lack' time or have an 'adequate' yearly income. For example, taking out a loan for $8000 for a car that we put $11k down on was 'too risky' for lenders without that big of a downpayment. We make about 16,000 a year, so half of our income.

Ok, so why is it ok for someone making $60k a year to get a loan for $30k car? Kwim?

Anyways, it's also quite fair though. Dh & I are very good at paying our cc and loans. We have excellent credit. There are people who do not pay back what they charge. I think a lot of the times, bad credit is due to bad decision making. Yes, sometimes it's due to outside circumstances (bad job, medical) but I think a lot of the time people buy things with the card that they wouldn't buy if they had to use cash. No one needs cable, no one needs a flat screen tv, no one needs an expensive shiny new car, etc. But a lot of people who can't afford it on their own use credit cards to get these things, thereby creating problems with paying it back.

Ami
In this scenario it appears that you purchased a car for $17,000 which was more than you yearly income (11,000 down and a loan for $8000) so that would be like a person making 60,000 buying a $64,000 car.

But maybe I read you example wrong.
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Old 10-24-2008, 12:59 PM
 
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I voted no, and agree with those who've said that credit is not a constitutional right.

I also have to agree that the credit rating system is archaic, ridiculous and broken. For the past few weeks I've been trying to raise my credit score 6 measly points so that I can meet a certain threshhold to get a mortgage from a lender, and the process has really opened my eyes to how arbitrary it all is. It totally depends what time of the month they run your score, and now of course we're getting dinged for running too many credit reports. Grrrrr. And god help you if you live out of country, we've been in Canada the past three years and as far as credit bureaus are concerned that means we fell off the face of the earth -- in their eyes we might as well have been living in a shack in the woods. Which, with the way the economy's going, might actually be not a bad idea.

Becca, mommy to my little pumpkin DS (10/09)
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Old 10-24-2008, 01:18 PM
 
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Social Security numbers were never meant to be used for anything except Social Security. Now they are used for everything, and I think it should be against the law, personally. I really feel that's the reason it's so easy to steal someone's SSN. They are used for everything! I was so glad when my state did away with using the SSN for driver licenses.

So while I don't think that credit scores are un-Constitutional, I do think their use should be restricted way more. Your SSN should only be for payroll/employment purposes - as was originally intended. I also don't think that a credit score should be used to determine someone's employability or trustworthiness. Just because I have old medical bills does not mean I am a thief.
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Old 10-24-2008, 01:31 PM
 
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I also don't think that a credit score should be used to determine someone's employability or trustworthiness. Just because I have old medical bills does not mean I am a thief.
This is what I was getting at.

re: people with poor credit stealing from their employers
Yes there are some people who may choose to steal from their employer, but ya know what? MANY people with poor credit DON'T choose to steal and many thieves don't necessarily have bad credit. So, using the argument "but you might STEAL from us" is discriminatory b/c essentially a person is being convicted of a crime without the benefit of a trial. There is no defense for that.
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Old 10-24-2008, 02:14 PM
 
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I voted no. I agree with the posters who said that borrowing money is not a constitutional right, and that businesses lending money need to have something like a credit score to look at to see if they are willing to take the risk of lending to someone.

I also don't think that a credit score should be used as a factor in determining things like getting hired at a job or finding insurance. A credit score shows your credit history- not how employable you are. If the thread asked whether using credit scores to determine employment was unconstitutional, I would probably agree with that.

For those who think credit scores are unconstitutional overall, what do you propose lending institutions use instead? Not trying to be snarky- I really am curious.

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Old 10-24-2008, 02:28 PM
 
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No. The credit score system might not work and people may have issues with it (myself included), but it is not unconstitutional.

Trying to balance a preschooler and peace....
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Old 10-24-2008, 03:07 PM
 
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There is no consitutional right to borrow money.

Anyone can get a credit card, it might be a secured credit card where one has to put down security funds, but once one has proved that they can manage money, they build a credit score.
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Old 10-24-2008, 03:21 PM
 
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Credit is not a constitutional right. It is a luxury.
Agreed.

One of my best friend's has totally wrecked credit because of her medical bills, but her husband is using it to try to wiggle his way out of his credit card bills for things like lunches out every day and parts for his guitar and $400 pairs of shoes. It sucks for her, but he totally deserves the treatment he's getting.
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Old 10-24-2008, 04:41 PM
 
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When working at a bank, I was in the position to see borrower's credit reports on a daily basis for seven years. From what I saw, the system is generally whacked.

Examples:

Mrs. Small Business owner has a house with a reasonable mortgage and little personal debt but personally guarantees her $100,000 business loan for her corporation. Her credit report history looks clean, all past obiligations paid as agreed. That $100,000 is factored into her personal credit score, often with negative results.

Mrs. Spendy is married, both spouses make decent money, lets say $100,000 per year. Their credit card debt alone totals $60,000 plus a mortgage and a car payment. CC accounts are opened and closed, balances transfered, etc. and my gut impression is poor financial management, one slip and the house of cards could come down.

Because of payment history and what ever other ratios come into play, I would see Mrs. Small Business owner's score in the 600's and the Spendy's credit scores coming in mid 700's. That is why I selected other. I think the system is too flawed for non-borrowing purposes such as insurance, employment, etc.

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Old 10-24-2008, 04:43 PM
 
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Um, what provision of the constitution would they be violating?
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