Relief for Unemployed Job Seekers: Credit Checks Banned in Illinois

The catch-22 of being unemployed and being unable to pay the bills, and thus being unable to get a job because of bad credit, is ending, at least in Illinois.

Illinois Gov. Pat Quinn signed a new law Tuesday -- the Employee Credit Privacy Act -- that prohibits employers from using a person's credit history when it comes to getting a job. The law goes into effect Jan. 1, 2011. The Society for Human Resources Management recently found that 60 percent of employers run a credit check on at least some applicants, according to the governor's website. That's up from the 42 percent in 2006 and 25 percent in 1998.