In the midst of an economic recession, a person’s credit score can be more important than ever when it comes to a background check for buying a home or acquiring a job. But Louisiana State University found that a person’s credit score is linked to something even more telling: one’s personality.

Surprisingly, researchers found that the nicer you are, the worse off your credit score tends to be.

“With regards to personality and credit – it makes sense that conscientiousness is related to good credit, but what was really interesting was that agreeableness was negatively related to your credit score,” said researcher Jeremy Bernerth. “That suggests easy-going individuals actually have worse credit scores than disagreeable and rude individuals. This suggests that agreeable individuals might get themselves in trouble by co-signing loans for friends or family or taking out additional credit cards at the suggestion of store clerks.”

Another surprise: Even though many employers believe that poor credit scores are connected with bad behavior and theft, which is a large factor in pre-employment credit checks, the researchers found no link.

“It was telling that poor credit scores were not correlated to theft and other deviant types of work behaviors,” said Bernerth. “Most companies attempt to justify the use of credit scores because they think such employees will end up stealing, but our research suggests that might not be the case.”

Source: Louisiana State University

Heather Rudow is a staff writer for Counseling Today. Email her at hrudow@counseling.org.

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