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Posts: 1
Registered: ‎03-01-2010

Food Stamps and Wellfare's Impact on Credit

For someone considering applying for food stamps and/or wellfare:

 

Does applying and enrolling in the Food Stamp or Wellfare Government Programs affect your credit score?  Does it become a public record that is searchable by future lenders, employers, or landlords?  Thanks = Smiley Happy

Super Contributor
Posts: 5,703
Registered: ‎10-06-2007

Re: Food Stamps and Wellfare's Impact on Credit

Welcome to the forum.  Food stamps and or welfare would have no effect on your FICO score or your CR.  Some applications for jobs might ask that question though,  IMHO its privacy act data and cannot be disclosed without consent.
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Valued Contributor
Posts: 1,373
Registered: ‎06-09-2008

Re: Food Stamps and Wellfare's Impact on Credit

As someone who has been on Section 8 housing assistance (rental payments to a private landlord) and Food Stamps (or SNAP as they are now called), I can tell you that they never appear on my credit report nor have I been given any reason to believe they would.  Even if you lie to get more benefits or fail to repay an overpayment, that's not an issue for a debt collector, it's a federal crime.  (Of course, if you commit fraud and get caught, you have somewhat larger issues than your credit score, and I digress anyhow.)

 

I've also never seen an employer ask for information about public benefits, and I don't think they're allowed to, the whole process is supposed to be confidential.  You can always ask your benefits person just to be sure, most of them are well over-worked, but generally nice people.

 

Senior Contributor
Posts: 4,635
Registered: ‎03-11-2007

Re: Food Stamps and Wellfare's Impact on Credit

You might want to check on the website of the state agency in your state.

I found this on Washington's DSHS website.
http://www.dshs.wa.gov/pdf/ms/forms/14_001.pdf

Privacy and Food Assistance

The current Food Stamp Act permits the department to collect the information we ask for on the application. We verify
some of this information with computer matching programs.

We may give this information to:
• Federal and state agencies for official use.
• Law Enforcement agencies pursuing people who are fleeing to avoid
the law.
• Private collection agencies to collect food assistance overpayments.

 

Looks like they can only send the information to credit and/or collections if you violate the law by trying to defraud the program, and I know from having worked on contract at a state agency they go after violators with a vengeance. The mythology that Food Stamps is just free money for lazy people is quite different from reality.

 

Here's are links to SNAP (Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program) on the USDA's website.
http://www.fns.usda.gov/snap/
http://www.fns.usda.gov/snap/rules/Regulations/default.htm

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Senior Contributor
Posts: 4,336
Registered: ‎09-06-2008

Re: Food Stamps and Wellfare's Impact on Credit


Noah_Bodie wrote:
The mythology that Food Stamps is just free money for lazy people is quite different from reality.

definitely not a mythology, but i don't think it's as widespread as a lot of people assume it is.

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Epic Contributor
Posts: 22,406
Registered: ‎01-17-2008

Re: Food Stamps and Wellfare's Impact on Credit


jbpeters wrote:

For someone considering applying for food stamps and/or wellfare:

 

Does applying and enrolling in the Food Stamp or Wellfare Government Programs affect your credit score?  Does it become a public record that is searchable by future lenders, employers, or landlords?  Thanks = Smiley Happy


 

It is not public record unless you make it so.  However, when applying for jobs it can ask if you have received food stamps within the last year or 18 months.   It has nothing to do with your job but is for something the employer would receive.   

 

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