Fox corrects, then repeats, credit score employers myth

In November, Adam Levin, chairman and co-founder of and former director of the New Jersey Division of Consumer Affairs appeared on something from the Fox Business Network called FBN Live.  

Levin said, “Employers are not allowed–nor do they–look at credit scores; that’s an urban myth.” (37:00)

Interviewer Tracy Byrnes responds: “Wait! Can you say that again? So, in theory, your employer is not supposed to look at your score?”

Levin explains that credit reports for employment purposes do not even contain credit scores.

However, the title of the web page for the video is “Don’t Let Your Credit Score Hurt Your Job Hunt – We take a look at how a bad credit score could hurt your job prospects.”

And, last month, in a conversation about about money and human emotion, the Fox Business host had this exchange with an author and “CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ professional” who has a “passion for helping people”* (1:45):

GUEST:  It’s a stressful time.

HOST: Well, especially because, now, you know, you go for a new job and your new employer’s looking at your credit score. 


HOST:  It’s everywhere.

GUEST:  Agh! 

HOST: Right?

GUEST: It’s true.  It’s true.

The web page for that video is titled, “Emotions Behind Our Financial Decisions – Financial advisor and author Karen Lee offers insight into understanding the emotions behind our financial decisions.”

But another unfortunate action brings the circus full-circle.  Even states: “Your credit score is a determining factor in your mortgage and auto loan terms, credit card rates and insurance premiums. Some employers and landlords also take your score into consideration.”

*see all the clichés: “passion,” “helping people,” etc.

Credit score, employers and Minyanville

From: Greg Fisher
Sent: Monday, May 09, 2011
To: Todd Harrison, founder and CEO, Minyanville Media, Inc.
Cc: Conor Sen, “Professor,” Minyanville
Subject: credit score, employers, Minyanville

See this message and your response at

You published, “There was a time when we’d apply for a job or an apartment or a mortgage and not have to worry about a credit score.”

Who is your source regarding credit score use by employers?

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

credit score employers myth, Consumerism Commentary

From: Greg Fisher
Sent: Tuesday, April 05, 2011
To: Luke Landes, founder, author, and CEO, Consumerism Commentary
Subject: credit score employers myth, Consumerism Commentary

See this message and your reply at

You wrote, “FICO and FICO 08 are the most popular credit scores, but when lenders, landlords, employers, and anyone else checking your credit researches your score, they could be looking at any one of a number of scores.”

Who is your source regarding credit score use by employers?

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

Enough to be Dangerous:

Recently, Experian (“the leading global information services company”*) announced that it and “will co-host a live, interactive, online town-hall discussion of credit reporting and scoring.” made the same announcement, replete with countdown clock to the exciting event.

Experian’s newfound public outreach/reach-out for goodwill follows the drubbing it took at the hands of Congress and the FTC regarding the debacle.  Among other adventures, Chairman John Peace and Experian have traveled the the viral video route recently.  There’s a fab, telegenic, “STYLISH, SMART, & SASSY” (click “HOSTING REEL” for a demo if you’re interested), newly-minted credit history expert and a bevy of B-list stars.  It’s all packaged up with cutesy, sprightly and playful plucking strings to indicate when it is time to laugh (and you will need it), similar to scenes on Wisteria Lane and at Seattle Grace.

If you think that you can manage all that (and would want to), Experian is still looking for you. knows Enough to be Dangerous.  They would have you believe that credit score factors include “employment, income” (FICO scores do not consider income and employment), and even “debt to income ratio.”  And, speaking of experts and employment, the consumer reporting agencies do not provide credit scores for employment purposes.  But today, while a battle rages in statehouses from coast-to-coast, one of the’s “experts” wrote that employers use credit scores.  It wouldn’t be the first time that that happened.  And, they are in good company.

Take what these two tell you with a grain of salt.  And if you participate in their forum, be sure to ask about your AWOL Experian FICO score, and what they are talking about with the line:  “Credit scoring helps potential lenders, landlords, and employers quickly gauge an applicant’s credit history.”



*as opposed to Equifax, “A global leader in information solutions” (and, indeed, “Leading with Integrity“), or TransUnion, “a global leader in credit and information management.”

credit score, employers, KXRM-TV Fox 21, Colorado Springs

From: Greg Fisher []
Sent: Friday, February 05, 2010 2:05 PM
Subject: credit score, employers, KXRM-TV Fox 21, Colorado Springs

You wrote, “Your credit score can help or hurt you every time you apply for a loan, buy car insurance, Continue reading credit score, employers, KXRM-TV Fox 21, Colorado Springs