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

New York Times Two – Employers and credit scores myth Mayor and city council pat themselves on the back with false information about employers: Credit Score Myth 2

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

Despite that and eight years of debunking, the mayor of New York said, “Using credit scores in hiring decisions only makes it harder for people facing economic hardship to find a job and restore their personal finances.” #1509N

Bill de Blasio’s preposterous statement is in a September 3, 2015 press release on the official website of the city of New York, New York. It announces a campaign to “educate New Yorkers” on a law regarding credit reports and employment screening.

A city Commission on Human Rights flyer is titled: “YOU ARE MORE THAN YOUR CREDIT SCORE. NYC agrees. A new law prohibits most businesses from checking or using your credit history for employment decisions.”

State senator Jeff Klein follows the mayor’s lead, quoted in the press release saying, “A job applicant should be judged on their skills not on their credit score.” #myth2

In April of 2015, before the vote, a press release on the city council’s website stated, “All New Yorkers deserve the chance to compete for a job based on their skills and qualifications, not three digits on a financial report,” said Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito.

In 2013, councilman Brad Lander led his cause in social media with the cry, “‘one, two, three, four. I am not my credit score!'”

Confronted with the fact that employers do not use credit scores, the politician used a poetic license defense: “Fair point. But sadly, ‘credit report’ or ‘credit history’ (which is what many do use) just don’t rhyme as well.”

The same song-and-dance works for a two-man writing team with members from Harvard University and the Federal Reserve. Their title: “‘No More Credit Score‘ Employer Credit Check Banks[SIC] and Signal Substitution.”

One of the authors replied that “‘score’ is there for the rhyming.”

The Fed publishes such so-called “working paper” documents, designated as such “with the aim of contributing to scholarly debate and soliciting constructive feedback.”

What it does with the feedback is the question.

In April, 2015, a local general-interest newspaper, the New York Times, quoted then-council member Vincent Ignizio saying that his measure would allow citizens to “prove their worth based on their talent, not on past mistakes or a credit score that could be low for many reasons.”

In 2012, the newspaper, itself, exacerbated the myth with an item that said, “The credit score, once a little-known metric derived from a complex formula that incorporates outstanding debt and payment histories, has become an increasingly important number used to bestow credit, determine housing and even distinguish between job candidates.”

The article (as with its effect on man) remains false.

Washington Post, Vantagescore and Credit Score Myth 8 Washington Post publishes false information about the history of the United States of America

Credit Score Myth 8 is the false belief that closing a financial account removes its history from a person’s credit report.

In the Washington Post, reporter Jonnelle Marte responds to Sam P., a man who ponders closing a financial account that is “anchoring” his credit history. He’s had the credit card for 10 years–“the longest in my report.”

Marte responds, “Credit history matters in determining a person’s credit score, and the reader is right in assuming that closing his oldest credit card could potentially ding his credit score.”

She elaborates on her assertion, writing, “Losing the oldest card in a person’s credit history can shorten the overall length of that person’s credit, but the damage may be limited if that person has other cards for nearly as long as the oldest, said Sarah Davies, senior vice president of analytics for VantageScore.” #myth8

However, according to national consumer reporting agency Experian, “A credit report serves as a record of your account history, so closing an account does not automatically remove it from the report.”

Veracity check. The Washington Post also states, falsely, “At the same time, aides to House Majority Leader John Boehner (R-Ohio) have previously told reporters that they won’t let the country default.” #1607e

On that date, October 14, 2013, Boehner was Speaker, not Majority Leader.

Myth in myths article

With regard to the so-called “utilization ratio,” common sense says More = Bad, and Less = Good, and the scoring model conforms to that intuitive notion.  But, here is another unfortunate case of misinformation; a syndicated error.

Recently, the bankrupt Tribune Company announced a new leader.  Perhaps this is a new beginning for errors and corrections.

From: Greg Fisher []
Sent: Sunday, January 20, 2013 11:53 AM
To: Gregory Karp, Tribune Newspapers (2) Cc: Beverly Harzog, credit card expert, author, and consumer advocate; Adam Levin, chairman, cofounder and expert,
Subject: Myth in myths article

See this message and your response at

In “Credit scoring myths — and the facts,” You wrote: “Instead of looking at how much credit you have, scoring systems look at your ‘credit utilization,’ how much of your available credit you’re actually using at any given time. Credit experts are usually reluctant to say exactly what the ideal credit use is, but when pressed, [ chairman and co-founder Adam] Levin said it’s 10 percent, as ridiculous as that sounds.”

That statement is inaccurate.  According to Fair Isaac, the FICO score company, “Generally speaking, the higher your utilization rate is, the greater is the risk that you will default on a credit account within the next two years… That’s why it’s always good advice to keep your credit card balances low – the lower the better.”

Adam Levin’s own website even states (comprehensively, and with near-perfect symmetry), “The lower your ratio, the higher your score will be,” and “The higher the ratio, the lower your score will likely be.”

Avoid errors in your reporting by referring to “Credit score tips, information and guidelines for journalists/reporters.” See #3.

What is your editor’s name?

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

6/6/15 update: His response.

Credit score inquiries, U.S. News & World Report LP error

From: Greg Fisher []
Sent: Tuesday, October 09, 2012 12:26 PM
To: Mortimer B. Zuckerman, chairman, Executive Committee, editor-in-chief, U.S. News & World Report (via Liz Putze); Mortimer B. Zuckerman, chairman, Executive Committee, editor-in-chief, U.S. News & World Report (via Liz Putze 2); Mortimer B. Zuckerman, Chairman of the Executive Committee and Editor-in-Chief, U.S. News & World Report
Cc: Sabah Karimi, Wise Bread blogger, freelance digital copywriter, custom content provider, new media marketing specialist
Subject: credit score, inquiries, Wise Bread, Killer Aces Media, U.S. News

You published, “Applying for more credit cards, filling out a loan application, or doing anything that will trigger a hard inquiry on your credit report will drop your credit score by a few points.”

However, Fair Isaac states, “For many people, one additional credit inquiry (voluntary and initiated by an application for credit) may not affect their FICO score at all.”

Who is your source?

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


London publishing house hype

“Gah! If I read one more lie about credit scores, my head will explode! No, your lender is NOT required to consider ‘alternate measures.'” – @lizweston, September, 2012

From: Greg Fisher []
Sent: Tuesday, October 02, 2012 11:32 AM
To: Liz Weston; Liz Weston (via
Cc: Vivienne Cox, non-executive director, Pearson plc (via W. Spiegel); Glen Moreno, chairman, Pearson plc (via T. Glover); Marjorie Scardino, chief executive, Pearson plc (via C. Goldsmith)
Subject: credit score, employers, Pearson plc, Weston

See this message and your response at

On the cover of the fourth edition of your credit score book, someone wrote, “Your credit score is more important than ever: not just for getting loans, but for getting jobs, insurance, rentals, and fair rates on all financial services.”

The cover continues—describing the book—saying: “Now, it’s completely revamped for today’s massive changes—from FICO 8 to ‘FAKO,’ short sales to employer abuse of credit scores” and “Whatever your score, you need this information—to defend yourself, and to get the credit, rates, work, and home you deserve!”

However, on page 185, you wrote, “I didn’t write about employer use of credit checks in previous editions of this book, because employers look at credit reports, not credit scores.”

What is the name of an employer who abuses credit scores?

On what date did you learn about the text on the cover?

What is the name of the person who wrote it?

What are the names of the persons who approved it?

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


QuinStreet and facts regarding credit scores

From: Greg Fisher
Sent: Friday, September 28, 2012 2:27 PM
To: Barbara Marquand, staff writer, QuinStreet
Cc: Doug Valenti, chairman, QuinStreet
Subject: Experian, Fox Business, Quinstreet, VantageScore; employers

Experian linked to an article on the Fox Business website in which you wrote, “VantageScores range from 501 to 990, and the breakdown of excellent to bad credit is similar to the scale used to calculate grades in school — 900 to 990 is excellent; 800 to 899 is good; 700 to 799 is fair; 600 to 699 is poor; and under 600 is failing.”

Who designated that tier as failing?  And, at what are those in that tier failing?

Also, you wrote, “Even employers sometimes check credit scores to gauge applicants’ sense of personal responsibility.”

What indicates that employers use credit scores?

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

Talk back to your screen

From: Greg Fisher []
Sent: Thursday, April 12, 2012 12:28 PM
To: Brian L. Roberts, chairman and CEO, Comcast Corporation (via Adam Miller, EVP, Corporate Affairs, NBCUniversal, Comcast)
Cc: Allen Wastler, managing editor,; Daniel Bukszpan, staff writer,, Comcast; Daniel Bukszpan, staff writer,, Comcast (2); Jennifer Dauble, director, public relations, CNBC; Bernard T. Gugar, Harpo Productions; Steve J. Bernas, president/CEO, Better Business Bureau of Chicago and Northern Illinois, Inc.;; (2)
Subject: RE: US national average credit score, “States with the best credit scores” II

Do you mean to tell me that you actually believe that the national average credit score could have decreased by 22 points in 11 days?

No way.  Really?

Chicago Union Station, TO ALL TRAINS
Chicago Union Station, TO ALL TRAINS

On a recent whistle stop trip to New York (via Chicago), I was able to make a small dent in the misinformation about credit scores.  However, these things have a life of their own, and I am not sure that Oprah Winfrey got my message (sent directly to her lawyer, however!).  The inaccuracy on her website still exists.  She even published this: “That history is digested by a company called Fair Isaac and converted into your credit score, which ranges from 350 to 800.”

Ha, ha!

That’s not true, of course, and it’s an old story.  But, even the New York Times fell for Experian’s campaign, so don’t feel bad.  Like the Times (until enlightened), you’re just in a Funk.

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

[prevous message]

credit score, employers, Advance Publications, insults

From: Yvonne Zipp
Sent: Friday, February 17, 2012 3:48 PM
To: <>
Subject: Re: credit score, employers, Advance Publications’ bad reporting


Ignoring the insults, now that I understand your concern, I have put a clarification at the bottom of the piece stating that when an employer does a credit check, they have access to an individual’s credit report, not a credit score.

I hope this addresses your concern.

Best regards,
Yvonne Zipp

Sent from my iPhone

On Feb 17, 2012, at 2:13 PM, “Greg Fisher” <> wrote:

Oh.  I see.  So now, instead of credit score, it’s “credit history” and “credit checks,” eh?  I just went on your wild goose chase and read the articles that you provided.

That’s five minutes of my life that I’ll never get back.

None of those pieces used the word score, and neither did your last email.  What are you referring to?  Are you even getting this, or was that just intellectual dishonesty?

Your source left you twisting in the wind.  Who has the authority to make a clarification to your credit score story?

SELF blew off Suze Orman’s regular ridiculous rant— her routine about credit scores.  Do you know something that the editor-in-chief of SELF does not?

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

From: Yvonne Zipp
Sent: Friday, February 17, 2012 12:13 PM
Cc: Jeff Brown
Subject: RE: credit score, employers, Poverty Reduction Initiative, errors and corrections

Mr. Fisher:

Here are a few articles regarding how a bad credit history can affect a person’s ability to obtain a job. According to The New York Times, “about 60 percent of employers now do credit checks on job applicants — up from less than 20 percent in the mid-1990s.” 

In 2011, California Gov. Jerry Brown signed a law limiting the practice in his state. Perhaps you are a resident of California? To my knowledge, such a law does not exist in Michigan.

Thank you for your interest in my personal work history. In both cases, I was asked to check a box if it was all right for an employer to check my credit history.

Yvonne Zipp
Business Reporter
Kalamazoo Gazette
[telephone number]


[previous message]

credit score, employers, CBS4 Denver

From: Greg Fisher []
Sent: Friday, February 10, 2012 9:56 AM
To: Rachel Lulay, CBS, National Amusements
Cc: Gloria Neal, award winning on-air talent, CBS4 Denver, National Amusements; Tim Wieland, news director, CBS4 Denver, National Amusements; Randy Fischer, state representative, Colorado; Randy Fischer, state representative, Colorado; Morgan Carroll, majority caucus chair, state senator, Colorado
Subject: credit score, employers, CBS4 Denver, National Amusements

See this message and your response at

You broadcast, “I was surprised to learn that a lot of companies already do look at credit scores when hiring.”

Your report is inaccurate.  The national consumer reporting agencies all state that they do not provide credit scores for employment screening.

On what day before the hearing will you broadcast a correction at the same time of day?

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