Credit checks also warn an employer of a potential embezzler.
During the period of unemployment they must continue to spend money and so they're credit tends to suffer.
The question--as Phoneix said-- is what is the money being spent on.
The 19th century debtors prison was an attempt by creditors backed by the legal system to get money that was owed to them.
A credit check by a potential employeer in 2004 is an effort to make sure that the applicant is financially stable and reliable.