Congress is examining employers' use of consumer credit history to make hiring decisions and insurers' use of them to set premiums, said Rep. Luis Gutierrez, an Illinois Democrat.

"Credit scores and reports are used by insurance companies to pick their customers and are used to exclude those most likely to file a claim," said Gutierrez, whose Subcommittee on Financial Institutions and Consumer Credit held a hearing Wednesday on the practice. "We are watching very closely and will take action if and when we find their practices out of line."

Nearly 50% of employers use credit reports in hiring decisions, according to the National Consumer Law Center.

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