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No Link Seen Between Low Credit Scores and Bad Job Behavior

A soon-to-be published study by researchers at Louisiana State University, Northern Illinois University and Texas Tech University finds no connection between poor credit scores and bad behavior on the job. The findings are of interest because many companies conduct credit checks on potential new hires as part of the employment screening process. Yet the validity of using an applicant’s credit history as a measure of future job performance has been largely unexamined. The study will be published in The Journal of Applied Psychology and is currently available online. It used personality data collected from 142 employees and performance data provided by supervisors. The researchers then asked the employees to obtain their credit scores from FICO. Limitations include the relatively small size of the study. Jeremy Bernerth, assistant professor at LSU’s business school and a lead author of the study, said the findings showed that poor credit scores weren’t related to an employee’s propensity, say, to steal from an employer or engage in other “deviant” behavior.

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