Duke tells students to revise history

[previous message]

From: Greg Fisher (greg@creditscoring.com)
Sent: Wednesday, October 02, 2013 11:39 AM
To: Richard H. Brodhead, president, Duke University
Subject: RE: credit score, employers, myth, falsity, truth, efficacy of a social media message, ivory tower II, falsity

I do not see a reply to my email from you, and I am troubled that I have not noticed any that you might have made. But, the change that you made to your previously false document (if that is your response (and if it is not, then it is the greatest coincidence in history)) gives me, at least, a glimmer of hope for the future of the planet.

However, something else—something fundamental—troubles me even more. You state: “You can always ask a credit card company or other creditor to have negative information removed from your account.  They want to keep their customers happy, so they will commonly oblige your request if you have regularly made your payments on time and just made a few errors.”

That is in your document—available worldwide—titled, “How can I improve my credit score?” and is the biggest crock of nonsense that I have ever heard. But I have heard it before and did what I could to stop it. After publicly following consumer reporting for 15 years, I have heard it all.

The law, the Fair Credit Reporting Act, states

The banking system is dependent upon fair and accurate credit reporting. Inaccurate credit reports directly impair the efficiency of the banking system, and unfair credit reporting methods undermine the public confidence which is essential to the continued functioning of the banking system.

It is no wonder the students and young alumni of Duke have an advantage: They have the power to change history.

I used the microcosm of the myth that employers use credit scores to determine the integrity of mainstream media. In that exercise of herding cats, I found that, largely, media organizations are passive-aggressive: They ignore their problem with accuracy, errors and corrections, and me. The First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution lives. The New York Times (the metaphor as well as the actual organization) needs no formal license to exist, publishes falsity (even about American history) and answers to no one. Now that that exhaustive (and exhausting) 5-year study of mine is over, as I crawl out of that rabbit hole of ridiculousness and into the light on the surface, I find ridiculousness ten-fold and growing.

But institutions of higher learning are not cats. They are (to use a fourth metaphor) a different animal, and, in some cases—as with public institutions, for instance—do, indeed, answer to higher authority. Although that appears not to be the case with you, your affiliation with a religious organization indicates a relationship to a higher moral authority, at least.

To whom Experian and its leaders ultimately answer in regard to misinformation, today, is confusing to me: Is it the Federal Trade Commission or Elizabeth Warren’s notion, the Bureau of Consumer Financial Protection (who likes to call itself the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau).

And so, since I have not seen a reply from you, I will now berate you with a prediction: You will change your website regarding that bunk about begging a creditor to create a history that never was, and, indeed, sir, suggesting that banks commonly lie to credit bureaus. It is heresy. Your outrageous suggestion impairs the efficiency of the banking system and undermines public confidence.

Have some dignity.


Greg Fisher
The Credit Scoring Site
creditscoring.com
Page A2
pagea2.com
PO Box 342
Dayton, Ohio  45409-0342
937-681-3224

Senior Vice President

From: Greg Fisher [mailto:greg@creditscoring.com]
Sent: Friday, April 19, 2013 9:52 AM
To: Jerry Healey, owner and publisher, Colorado Community Media
Cc: Todd Hauer, senior vice president, wealth advisor, Morgan Stanley
Subject: credit score, credit utilization definition

You published this about one of the five categories of data in the FICO credit score formula:

Credit utilization. Credit utilization is defined as the total debt you have divided by the total available credit that is available to you. High credit utilization can be a warning sign of credit risk.

Fair Isaac does not title the second category with those words.  It uses “Amounts owed,” and that category contains factors that have nothing to do with the proportion of balances to credit limits.

I noticed your article in a news search.  It is in the top ten results, alongside articles from Yahoo! News and Fox Business.

Who “defined” credit utilization?

What is your correction policy?


Greg Fisher
The Credit Scoring Site
creditscoring.com
PO Box 342
Dayton, Ohio  45409-0342

CFPB on checking your credit score at least once a year

From: Greg Fisher [mailto:greg@creditscoring.com]
Sent: Wednesday, December 12, 2012 11:03 AM
To: Michelle Person, spokesperson, U.S. Consumer Financial Protection Bureau
Cc: Richard Cordray, director, U.S. Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (via press office); Mallory McLean, press assistant, U.S. Consumer Financial Protection Bureau; Moira Vahey, spokesperson, U.S. Consumer Financial Protection Bureau
Subject: RE: Who changed the name of our Consumer Financial Protection Bureau?, checking your credit score

One of your “STEPS TO GET AND KEEP A GOOD CREDIT SCORE” is “GET YOUR FREE CREDIT REPORT EVERY YEAR.”  In it, you state, “Tip: You don’t have to buy your credit score. The information you receive from the agencies is adequate.”

However, the document title of another of your public documents is,“Consumer Advisory: Check your credit score at least once a year.”  You can find that title in the properties of the document by opening it and using Ctrl+D, by performing a right click and choosing Document Properties, or by using File then Properties in the menu of a PDF reader.

Even the internet address of the document (http://files.consumerfinance.gov/f/201207_cfpb_consumer-advisory_check-your-credit-score-every-year.pdf) contains the same message.  But the word score does not even exist in the document content itself.  Despite the file name, document title and internet web address, if you perform a word search for “scor” within the document that is displayed, there are no matches.

On July 16, somebody in your organization wrote, “Read our consumer advisory on checking your credit score at least once a year.”  That message is signed “CFPB Web Team.”  What is the name of the person who is the head of that team?

If your advice is to check our credit scores once a year, then which one should we check?  And, how much does it cost citizens to do so?

And, answer last month’s questions today.  You are falling behind.


Greg Fisher
The Credit Scoring Site
creditscoring.com
PO Box 342
Dayton, Ohio  45409-0342

 

TransUnion, what is a credit rating? Zen & coffee w/Audrey

CoffeeCup - HTML and Web Design SoftwareThe home page of TransUnion’s website zendough.com leads to a very mysterious place:  Omaha!

See What is a credit rating? Halloween, 2012 – Credit scares: Various definitions of a loosely used term”

From: Greg Fisher [mailto:greg@creditscoring.com]
Sent: Thursday, November 01, 2012 12:39 PM
To: Clifton O’Neal, senior director, Corporate Communications, TransUnion
Subject: credit rating, TransUnion

Ask Audrey
Credit Columnist
TransUnion

Dear Audrey:

What is a credit rating?

I’m on a quixotic journey to find the meaning of that term.  On your Q&A web page titled, “Debt management, credit counseling and credit rating | TransUnion,” you fail to use the term credit rating your answer.  In another instance, using the definite article, you refer to the credit rating, as if it is some specific thing.

So, how do I get my credit rating?  I’d love to see it.

But, before you answer those questions, could you explain why your subdomain http://video.zendough.com leads to a website about coffee?  Are you renting it out to make some extra cash?  Is everything alright?


Greg Fisher
The Credit Scoring Site
creditscoring.com
PO Box 342
Dayton, Ohio  45409-0342

PS:  BTW, who does that rendition of “The Coffee Song”?  That one and Frank Sinatra’s make me want a cuppa right now!

Jean Chatzky’s dilemma

Employers do not use credit scores.  Can’t even get ’em.

The second tab after “Home/Blog” on JeanChatzy.com is “Score Builder.”  The landing page says, “Better credit in 120 days, powered by Smart Credit.”

On Oprah.com as she explained the number that she thinks “is widely considered to be a measure of how responsble a human being you are,” Jean Chatzky said, “You may even have an easier time getting a job as many employers these days are checking out credit scores because they want to hire responsible employees.”

Then she plugs Credit.com and CreditKarma.

[Wonks: She also gives the score scale as 350-850, but let’s not quibble over that– boring.]

Meanwhile, over at NBC, (where it counts, apparently), Chatzky finally comes to terms with her misinformation.  In a segment for NBC’s Today, she said (finally):

It’s a really good question, and we did get a lot of response to that thought that employers are checking credit histories.  About 16% of them actually are.  What they’re not seeing is your credit score.  They’re seeing your credit report.

 

Visit msnbc.com for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy

 

Inexplicably, however, her blog post (“Posted by Jean”) about that appearance states, “On Today’s Money 911 we talked about what employers that check credit scores are looking for and gave tips for finding a job over 60.”

Previously, as Matt Lauer did the deed (as many do in their introductions to the topic) Chatzky remained silent. (2:09)

Poor Oprah (dot com).

Oprah was unavailable (but the train station never looked better).

So, what happens, now?

New Young Broadcasting errors and corrections

From: Greg Fisher [mailto:greg@creditscoring.com]
Sent: Monday, April 16, 2012 11:12 AM
To: Deborah A. McDermott, president, New Young Broadcasting Holding Co., Inc. (via Nashville Bank and Trust); Deborah A. McDermott, president, New Young Broadcasting Holding Co., Inc. (via Leadership Nashville Foundation)
Cc: Angela Kennecke, news anchor, KELOLAND Television, New Young Broadcasting; Press office, U.S. Consumer Financial Protection Bureau; Corrections, KELOLAND News, KELO-TV, New Young Broadcasting
Subject: RE: The News at Ten and its corrections, .tv II

Please reply.


Greg Fisher
The Credit Scoring Site
creditscoring.com
PO Box 342
Dayton, Ohio  45409-0342

[previous message]

The News at Ten and its corrections

From: Greg Fisher [mailto:greg@creditscoring.com]
Sent: Friday, April 13, 2012 10:37 AM
To: Deborah A. McDermott, president, New Young Broadcasting Holding Co., Inc. (via Nashville Bank and Trust)
Cc: Angela Kennecke, news anchor, KELOLAND Television, New Young Broadcasting; Press office, U.S. Consumer Financial Protection Bureau
Subject: The News at Ten and its corrections, .tv

See this message and your response at http://blog.creditscoring.com/?p=3843.

You broadcast, “Whether you’re applying for a mortgage or a job, your credit score determines how easy it will be for you to get it” and “You could even be turned down for a job if your credit score isn’t high because you may look irresponsible to a prospective employer.”

Employers do not use credit scoresPay no attention to that attorney general behind the website.

Did your interviewer ask the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau director about employers allegedly using credit scores?

It’s complicated.

When do you air corrections?

Have you been to Tuvalu?


Greg Fisher
The Credit Scoring Site
creditscoring.com
PO Box 342
Dayton, Ohio  45409-0342

[next message]

credit score, employers, Minnesota Attorney General

From: Greg Fisher [mailto:greg@creditscoring.com]
Sent: Wednesday, April 04, 2012 12:50 AM
To: Lori Swanson, attorney general, State of Minnesota; Lori Swanson, attorney general, State of Minnesota (alt email address); Lori Swanson, attorney general, State of Minnesota (2nd alt email address)
Subject: credit score, employers, Minnesota Attorney General

See this message and your response at http://blog.creditscoring.com/?tag=minnesota-attorney-general.

You wrote: “Credit scores are used by credit card companies, auto lenders, landlords, and home mortgage lenders to predict the likelihood that a consumer will pay their bills. They are also used by insurance companies to decide how much to charge people for homeowners and automobile insurance and by some employers.”

In the same document, you also wrote: “Credit scores are not only used by lenders. Landlords, employers, utility companies and insurance companies also use a variation of the credit score in determining whether to rent an apartment, give a job, underwrite an insurance policy, or hook up electricity.”

The consumer reporting agencies all state that they do not provide credit scores for employment purposes.

What indicates that employers use credit scores?


Greg Fisher
The Credit Scoring Site
creditscoring.com
PO Box 342
Dayton, Ohio  45409-0342

Contacting Oprah Winfrey, personal finance


The questions are all the same. Answers vary.

From: Greg Fisher [mailto:greg@creditscoring.com]
Sent: Tuesday, March 27, 2012 10:11 AM
To: Oprah Winfrey, Harpo Productions (via Bernard Gugar)
Subject: credit score, employers, Oprah Winfrey

See this message and your reply at http://blog.creditscoring.com/?cat=293 and http://blog.creditscoring.com/?tag=oprah-winfrey.

Your website states:

Last year, 25 billion credit decisions were made based on FICO scores alone. These weren’t just decisions about whether you’d be approved for a new credit card but… Whether an employer will hire you… In other words, your score is a really powerful piece of information.

I visited your office earlier this month, but was unable to see anyone about that statement.

Despite unfortunate conflicting information, employers do not use credit scores.

What indicates that employers base hiring decisions on credit scores?


Greg Fisher
The Credit Scoring Site
creditscoring.com
PO Box 342
Dayton, Ohio  45409-0342

 

reply, Hearst, media accuracy, erroneous reporting

From: Greg Fisher [mailto:greg@creditscoring.com]
Sent: Thursday, March 22, 2012 10:26 AM
To: J.T. O’Donnell, columnist, J.T. & Dale Talk Jobs; J. T. O’Donnell, founder & president, CAREEREALISM
Cc: George R. Hearst, Jr., chairman, Hearst Corporation (via Lisa Bagley); William Dean Singleton, chairman, MediaNews Group, Inc.; Dale Dauten, columnist, J.T. & Dale Talk Jobs; Mary E. Junck, chairman, president and CEO; chairman, Executive Committee, Lee Enterprises; Mary Junck, Associated Press; Dale Quinn, reporter, Arizona Daily Star, Lee Enterprises
Subject: Re: media accuracy, errors and corrections, Lee Enterprises, Hearst, AP, a real joke

You must be joking about Lee Enterprises.

Experian states: “Experian’s Employment Insight report includes similar information about loans and credit cards that is listed in the credit report. It does not include year of birth, spouse reference, account number or credit score, which are irrelevant to hiring decisions”

I hope that’s official enough for you.  Actually, a guy gave a testimony.  He swore it, under oath even!

Finally, there is no longer anything on Equifax’s website about employers using credit scores.

So, that begs the question: Who is your source?  And, if nobody said it in the first place, then what are you “validate/research” -ing?

On the other hand, Experian says, “Creditors, landlords, and even some employers consider a person’s credit score before deciding whether they will approve a loan, lease an apartment, or hire an applicant.”

Why don’t you tell that story?


Greg Fisher
The Credit Scoring Site
creditscoring.com
PO Box 342
Dayton, Ohio  45409-0342

 


From: [email address] On Behalf Of J.T. O’Donnell
Sent: Wednesday, March 21, 2012 6:00 PM
To: greg@creditscoring.com
Subject: Re: media accuracy, errors and corrections, Lee Enterprises, Hearst, AP

Greg,

Just sent you a tweet but figured I’d email you too.

I hope you can understand that because you are the one emailing, we need to validate/research what you are saying.

I’ll circle back with you when I learn more.

Thanks for your patience,

JT

[previous email]