Credit score inquiries, ”less than five points” Wall Street Journal takes fewer words to describe effect of inquiries than even FICO score company Fair Isaac

TO: Annamaria Andriotis
CC: Jennifer Openshaw, Maria Lamagna, Brian Kelly, Elisabeth Hershman, Fair Isaac, Elizabeth Warren, Oscar Suris
FROM: Greg Fisher
DATE: Wed, Sep 21, 2016 at 2:22 PM
SUBJECT: false information, Murdoch, Wall Street Journal, credit score, inquiries, 1,497 #1609aa

I am with the media, I am on a deadline, and I am writing about you, Follower. See this message and your response on the Credit Score Blog.

I know what I don’t know about credit scoring. You wrote, “One credit inquiry will remove less than five points off people’s FICO scores, according to FICO.”

So, you expressed the situation with inquiries in only 13 words. When and where did Fair Isaac (“FICO”) say that, and what is the name of the person who said it?

On different pages, the organization published these sentences

For most people, one additional credit inquiry will take less than five points off their FICO Scores. (17 words)

In general, inquiries have a small impact; typically, a single inquiry can lower a FICO Score by less than five points. (21 words)

For others, one additional inquiry would take less than 5 points off their FICO score. (15 words)

I daresay your explanation is oversimplified. The idea appears to be a talking point– the party line. The same statement, word-for-word, of one above: “For most people, one additional credit inquiry will take less than five points off their FICO Scores.”

Is it possible for an inquiry to lower a FICO score 5 points or more? Perhaps Fair Isaac (who is copied on this message) will provide more information about its secret. The greatest credit scoring expert in the world still works there. If he doesn’t have the answer, nobody does.

Another inquiry enquiry

One guy (he, literally, calls himself the Points Guy) has said “two to five points” so many times that he actually believes himself. Brian Kelly was the subject on another Dow Jones/News Corporation website a couple of days ago. Your colleague writes, “Kelly says that if you’re not getting more value than the annual fee, but you don’t want to cancel the card and lose the years of experience you have with it, which can negatively impact your credit score, you can see if there’s a no-fee card you can switch to with the same issuer.”

HOKEY SMOKE! See Credit Score Myth 8.

And while that guy has a lot of plastic, you need to pay attention to another corker: “The Man with 1,497 Credit Cards”! Try to get me an answer. The poor dude can’t comment on the viral story about him– because he is not even alive! I looked into it. I checked public records in California. #1601T

The Real BIG Credit Score has dozens of factors

Your item also states, “FICO scores are comprised of five factors.”

That is not true. Your statement is Credit Score Myth 5. Who told you that? #myth5

And, nobody is getting a mortgage loan with a credit score of 850. Who is your source?

By the way, isn’t the title of that one, “How to Perfect Your Credit Score,” pushing it a little? Who wrote that headline? #TheHed

Also, tell your supervisor to send a message up your chain of command that I want my comments to a 2008 article restored. I do not participate in such discussions for my health and I am not putting up with Rupert Murdoch’s silly nonsense. Furthermore, the article that was attached to my comments is false. Employers do not use credit scores. I looked into it.

There are three comments on your story’s page. Are you going to delete them, too?

I could go on and I think I will. Another article is still false. In its source code is this

meta name=”article.summary” content=”Many employers are checking job candidates’ credit scores, but how big of a factor are credit scores in a company’s eventual decision to hire?”

By now, 8 years after I documented one very bizarre phenomenon, people giggle when they see that error. That it continues (on new and old documents) is truly pathetic. I’m having a big party for the 10th anniversary in April, 2018.

What is your supervisor’s name? I want it to make sure that my messages are getting through to the top person of your organization.

Now, let’s not leave the guest of honor out of the conversation. Wells Fargo states, definitively, that a credit score is also known as a “credit rating.”

That is debatable, but here’s the fun part: John Stumpf, the top person of Wells Fargo also states, “Employers often check the credit rating of prospective employees.” #myth2

Hashtag: Myth 2.

FUN FACT: Did you know that Wells Fargo has bank charter No. 1?

Veracity check

Finally, here is today’s truth test of your organization. In an opinion item titled “Democrats’ Zika Obstruction” dated July, the Wall Street Journal states, “Majority Leader Harry Reid recently claimed the bill ‘exempts pesticide spraying from the Clean Water Act.'”

That is false. U.S. Senator Reid is the minority leader, not the majority leader (largely due to his party not being in the majority).

Tell your supervisor about that error of the history of my country written by an unnamed person. I will not stand for it. I demand that your organization correct that error today.

I trust you, Ms. Andriotis, but your company is in no position to decide when this pathetic story of truth and falsity ends. Rupert Murdoch, the top person of your organization, is incompetent, foolish, irresponsible and does not know his place.

What is your correction policy?

Greg Fisher
Truth and Falsity
The Credit Scoring Site
PO Box 342
Dayton, Ohio 45409-0342
mobile/text 937-681-3224

The Bank of New Glarus Credit Score Myth 8: Closing accounts shortens credit history (#1411s)

The website of the Bank of New Glarus states

Don’t Avoid All Debt

One common misconception among consumers is that any debt on your credit report is bad, which is not entirely true. Good debt – debt that you handled well by making on-time payments – is good for your credit score because it shows that you are a reliable borrower. This is especially true if it’s old debt, because it extends your credit history. So don’t call the reporting agency to remove that car loan from your credit report as soon as you pay off the vehicle. Leave old debt and good accounts on your credit history for as long as possible. This is also why you should keep your oldest credit cards active, even if you don’t use them very often. Cancelling a credit card that you’ve had for a long time will shorten your credit history, which could negatively impact your overall credit score.

The top person of that organization is Ronald J. Schaaf, president and CEO.

See #1411s (and #1411s).

Duke tells students to revise history

[previous message]

From: Greg Fisher (
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
Page A2
PO Box 342
Dayton, Ohio  45409-0342

False information spread by Time Warner/CNN

Jeff Bewkes, Time Warner

This is a civics lesson directed squarely at you. If a shadow audience reads it, that’s gravy.

See “Labor Day, 2013 – CNN and the myth about employers and credit scores.” In it, I make the point that your reports of American history and credit scores are factually incorrect. Your websites state that Mitch McConnell is the majority leader of the U.S. Senate. That is not true, and further, it has never been true. While a fine man, Senator McConnell (R-Ky.) is Minority Leader. You can see that plain fact on the Senate’s official history page, “Majority and Minority Leaders and Party Whips.”

You also state that employers use credit scores, and that is not true, either. That fact was a lot harder to prove (and took 5 years; proving that something is not is a lot harder than proving that something is) than the fact of the senator’s position, but there isn’t much debate about it now. If there is debate, your side loses. Hell, you even seem to argue with yourself, publishing, in 2011, “It’s important to note that employers can’t actually see your three-digit credit score,” and then, in 2013, “Insurance companies, landlords, and employers are increasingly checking credit  scores, too.”

Blame VantageScore if you want (actually, that would be a good thing–the more, the merrier), but the CEO of that relatively new gambit of the consumer reporting agencies doesn’t have his act together, either. You are birds of a feather: Too quick on the Publish button, and oblivious.

Despite the proof above (and your having been informed), your pages still make false claims. In addition to those listed on the Labor Day page, here are more examples of you stating Senator McConnell’s title inaccurately. Please, for the sake of the United States of America, stop it today. If you do nothing, this merciless berating will continue.

  1. DNC ad aims at ‘plotting’ by McConnell
  2. CNN’s GUT CHECK for March 14, 2013
  3. Repeal health care law? Forget about it
  4. SOTU Crib Sheet 3/3
  5. Reid Yanks Senate Contingency Plan as House Takes Lead in Debt Talks

And, on the following pages, you published the statement that employers use credit scores. Employers do not use credit scores. I looked into it. The first three stories are dated after April 24, 2008, the date that–within days of the other two–the third of the three main national consumer reporting agencies stated that they do not provide credit scores for employment purposes. The second three are dated prior to 2008. If, by some great miracle (or act of journalism), you come up with evidence or sources, please provide them today. Had you done so in the first place, we would not be here, now.

  1. MYB: Your credit score could prevent you from getting a job – Christine Romans explains” (2013)
  2. Employers are looking at candidates credit scores. Be wary.” (2010)
  3. Settling the credit score” (2008)
  4. How to ace your credit score” (2007)
  5. 8 credit score myths” (2005)
  6. Credit score myths” (2004)

There are other myths that need attention, but if this does not compel you to make corrections, there is a much bigger predicament. Not only is what you are doing wrong in terms of accuracy, it is wrong, ethically. Because of this fundamental problem, we don’t have a well-informed electorate (let-alone a well-informed legislature). Truth is in the balance.

Despite your mass-media megalomania and prolific uploading, there is still hope. But, your action in this moment will stand as a fact of history. Don’t let it slip away.

The propagation of this myth has serious consequences. Today, before you publish another word, make it stop.

No interviews.

Greg Fisher
The Credit Scoring Site ( – A bleak account
Page A2 ( – Media accuracy, errors and corrections

cc: Jeff Zucker, CNN
cc: Joseph A. Ripp, Time

OCC Charter No. 1316

From: Greg Fisher
Sent: Thursday, August 29, 2013 1:14 PM
To: William S. Demchak, president and CEO, PNC Financial Services Group (via P. McMahon)
Subject: credit score, employers, OCC Charter No. 1316

See this message and your response at

At, you wrote, “Who looks at your #creditscore? Not just lenders, but employers, landlords, even mobile phone companies. #PNC #AchievementSessions.”

Employers don’t use credit scores.  I looked into it.

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

False information on government website

The efficacy of a social media message

Lena Taylor
Senator (D-Milwaukee), Wisconsin legislature

Employers do not use credit scores because they cannot even get them.

However, you wrote, “Approximately 40% of employers check credit scores when making hiring decisions.”

So, your information is false.  Who provided that statistic?

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

Wisconsin Capitol
Wisconsin Capitol
Wisconsin Capitol (aerial view)
Wisconsin Capitol (aerial view)

Credit scores in popular culture, Identity Thief

The efficacy of a social media message

Craig Mazin, story, screenplay
Identity Thief
Sumner Redstone
CBS, National Amusements

Recently, in Philadelphia, CBS broadcast a report that stated, inaccurately, that employers use credit scores.  After I contacted CBS, the inaccurate information on the broadcaster’s website disappeared, with no acknowledgement of the error on the story’s website page.  The video is gone, too, but has found new life on  The same day the CBS report appeared, an oddly similar story appeared in Providence on a Lin Television station.

The CBS report stated: “Whether you’re hoping to buy a new home, a new car or even find a new job, you’d better be sure that your credit score is in good shape,” and “Whether you like it or not, your credit score says a lot about you.  Companies use credit scores for everything from deciding how big a deposit to require for a cell phone contract to whether or not to hire you.  It’s based on the concept that how you’ve handled credit in the past indicates how reliable of a borrower—or employee, for that matter—you’ll be in the future.   The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau is offering… ”

The Lin report stated, “Whether you’re hoping to buy a new home, a new car or even find a new job, you’d better be sure your credit score is in good shape,” “Whether you like it or not, your credit score says a lot about you.  Companies use it for everything from deciding how big a deposit to require for a cell phone contract to whether or not to hire you.  It’s based on the concept that how you’ve handled credit in the past indicates how reliable of a borrower—or employee, for that matter—you’ll be in the future.  The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau is offering… ”

In 2012, a bill was introduced in the Pennsylvania legislature that stated

Section 5.4. Credit Report Requirement.—

(a) It shall be an unlawful discriminatory practice for any employer or any employer’s agent, representative or designee to require an employe[SIC] or prospective employe[SIC] to consent to the creation of a credit report that contains information about the employe’s[SIC] or prospective employe’s[SIC] credit score, credit account balances, payment history, savings or checking account balances or savings or checking account numbers as a condition of employment unless one of the following applies:

(1) Such report is substantially related to the employe’s[SIC] current or potential job.
(2) Such report is required by law.
(3) The position is with the Office of Attorney General, Pennsylvania State Police or other law enforcement agency.

(b) For the purposes of this section, “substantially related to the employe’s[SIC] current or potential job” means the information contained in the credit report is related to the position for which the employe[SIC] or prospective employe[SIC] who is the subject of the report is being evaluated because the position:

(1) is a managerial position which involves setting the direction or control of the business;
(2) involves access to customers’, employes'[SIC] or the employer’s personal or financial information other than information customarily provided in a retail transaction;
(3) involves a fiduciary responsibility to the employer, including, but not limited to, the authority to issue payments, transfer money or enter into contracts;
(4) requires access to confidential or proprietary information that derives value from secrecy and efforts are made to keep it secret; or
(5) involves regular access to cash totaling $10,000 or more during the work day.

So, while the consumer reporting agencies do not even provide scores for employment purposes (and they stated so five years ago), that proposal would have actually made it legal, expressly, in some instances, to do so.

In Connecticut, a bill became law with inaccurate testimony, so the myth has serious consequences.  Life imitated art after the release of your motion picture:  Colorado—the home of the protagonist in the movie—passed a similar measure.

Mr. Mazin, for the screenplay of the movie “Identity Thief,” who came up with the idea that an employer can obtain a citizen’s credit score?

Greg Fisher
The Credit Scoring Site
Page A2
PO Box 342
Dayton, Ohio  45409-0342

UPDATE 5/22/13

  1. Step One: Social media message (above)(fail)
  2. Step Two: Email (below)(to Hollywood!)

From: Greg Fisher []
Sent: Wednesday, May 22, 2013 4:02 PM
To: Craig Mazin, story, screenplay, Identity Thief
Subject: credit scores in popular culture, Identity Thief

Please respond to the social media message addressed to you dated May 10.


By the way, did you notice the boom microphone at the top of the frame in the scene in Diana’s house?

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

Newspaper monetization

From: Greg Fisher []
Sent: Friday, April 19, 2013 11:39 AM
To: Strange Logic North America
Subject: Chronicle of a myth

You further a myth by writing, “To an employer, a bad credit score may be seen as a lack of responsibility or poor decision making skills and cause them to put up a stop sign for hiring.”

Meanwhile, the San Francisco Chronicle runs advertisements on that page containing that falsehood.

Name one employer who has ever used a credit score.  If you cannot, tell me what you are going to do to counteract the myth that you perpetuated.

What is your name?

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

PS. Extra points for promptness.  Act now.



Here is a list of steps to attempt to get the attention of people who misinform citizens.

1. Email
2. Social media message
3. Postcard
4. Letter
5. Certified letter, return reciept requested
6. Visit, in-person, whistle stop

Further steps (if necessary) might include cash, merciless berating and singing telegrams.

From: Greg Fisher []
Sent: Wednesday, March 27, 2013 2:50 PM
To: José Quiñonez, executive director, Mission Asset Fund, and chairperson, Consumer Advisory Board, U.S. Consumer Financial Protection Bureau
Subject: The right thing

You wrote: “Experian, a major credit reporting agencies[SIC], estimates that 66 million Americans are unscoreable[SIC]—they do not have enough credit history to generate a credit score. And without a credit score, they can’t get loans to buy cars, start businesses, get mortgages, rent apartments, or even get jobs.”

However, Experian also states, “Employers never get a credit score.”

So, where did you get the idea that employers use credit scores?

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

Out of 850

From: Greg Fisher []
Sent: Thursday, January 24, 2013 9:22 PM
To: Blake Ellis, personal finance writer,
Subject: credit score, myth, out of 850

See this message and your response at

You wrote, “For example, while a FICO score of 790 out of 850 is considered excellent, it’s merely mediocre on the VantageScore model — which tops out at 990.”

So, would you refer to a FICO credit score of 301 as 301 out of 850?

What is your correction policy?

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