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

Quicken Loans nonsense, and Gilbert’s bitterness about credit scores

Dan Gilbert is bitter.

He made some corrections, but he still has not completed his work.

[previous email exchange]

From: Greg Fisher [mailto:greg@creditscoring.com]
Sent: Tuesday, September 10, 2013 3:29 PM
To: Bill Emerson, CEO, Quicken Loans; Bill Emerson, CEO, Quicken Loans (via L. Kreder); Bill Emerson, CEO, Quicken Loans (via Help address); Bill Emerson, CEO, Quicken Loans (via assistant’s address)
Cc: Dan Gilbert, Fathead; David Quilty, senior editor, Quizzle LLC; Todd Albery, Leader of the Webolution, Quizzle LLC
Subject: RE: Your horrible, recurring errors, follow III

Your website still states, falsely, “Don’t forget: Many employers also check credit scores, especially when you’re in the hiring process.”

That is nonsense. Employers do not use credit scores. I looked into it.

Who is your regulator?


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

Encounter with billionaire about credit score myth

[PREVIOUS EMAIL]

From: Gilbert, Dan
Sent: Thursday, August 01, 2013 10:53 AM
To: Quilty, David; Albery, Todd
Cc: ‘greg@creditscoring.com’
Subject: Fw: Your horrible, recurring errors

Todd and David,

I truly cannot follow this guy’s point below.

Maybe it got lost through all of the bitterness and anger in his email, but as always, I know you guys will try to get to the bottom of it and understand the feedback to determine if there is a change that needs to take place.

Please keep me posted.

Thank you.
Dan G.

[by “below,” Gilbert refers to previous email]

 

From: Greg Fisher [mailto:greg@creditscoring.com]
Sent: Thursday, August 01, 2013 12:17 PM
To: Dan Gilbert, Fathead
Subject: RE: Your horrible, recurring errors, follow

Employers do not use credit scores, but your website said (before the error disappeared (“score” is even gone from its headline)), again, that they do.

What don’t you understand about that?


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

 

From: Greg Fisher [mailto:greg@creditscoring.com]
Sent: Friday, August 02, 2013 1:02 PM
To: Todd Albery, Leader of the Webolution, Quizzle LLC
Cc: Dan Gilbert, Fathead; David Quilty, senior editor, Quizzle LLC
Subject: RE: Your horrible, recurring errors, follow II

Hello, Skippy.

Your error disappeared!  Apparently, lax control is the way to become a billionaire.

I’m still waiting for your boss to reply.  In the meantime, take a look at this.  quickenloans.com states, “Don’t forget: Many employers also check credit scores, especially when you’re in the hiring process.”

Wrong.

Also, some guy wrote (and, Mr. Gilbert left on his website for three years), “If you recognize that maintaining a good credit score is a necessary evil in today’s society because insurers, employers and lenders check scores when making offers, you might consider damage to your credit score a negative consequence of walking away from a mortgage.”

Wrong again.

On that guy’s website, you find the reliability meme, as in: “You can complain about this all that you want, but your whining won’t stop from potential employers from checking out your credit score. The justification that I heard is that an employer will want to see if you’re reliable.”

That was “posted” (as the mommy bloggers say) by yet another guy who tells young people, “Your future employers WILL look at your credit score.”

Elsewhere, that guy gushes: “If you want to build your [CENSORED] for ‘credit score’ or ‘debt management’ than[SIC] just say so! Ask me for my advertising rates and I’m sure that we could work something out.”

Yikes.


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

State of New York

The Honorable Andrew M. Cuomo
Governor of New York State

You state, “For Sandy Victims, Blemishes on Credit Score Can Mean Higher Costs for Home, Auto, and Business Loans, Greater Difficulty Finding Employment.”

Employers do not use credit scores.  See Item 1.

Make a retraction.

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

[UPDATE 5/6/13: There is a link, dated 4/27, to this page from https://twitter.com/creditscoring/status/328182948165734401.]

FICO score Credit utilization, Wall Street Journal, 2012-12-01

From: Greg Fisher [mailto:greg@creditscoring.com]
Sent: Sunday, December 02, 2012 11:29 AM
To: Rupert Murdoch, chairman and CEO, News Corporation (via Julie Henderson)
Cc: Karen Blumenthal, columnist, Getting Going, Wall Street Journal, News Corporation; Karen Blumenthal (2)
Subject: credit score, Credit utilization, Wall Street Journal, 2012-12-01

You published:

Apart from what you actually owe, it especially helps to have unused credit available. “Credit utilization“—how much of your credit you actually use—accounts for 30% of the credit-score calculation. While the rule of thumb is to keep your credit use to no more than a third of your available credit, FICO high achievers use, on average, a skimpy 7% of the credit available to them.

However, according to Fair Isaac, 30% is a number referring to the importance of a category in calculating a FICO score called “Amounts Owed,” not “Credit utilization.”  And, Amounts owed is driven by half a dozen factors, not just utilization.  Fair Isaac explains that one of the items in the category is, indeed, “How much of the total credit line is being used and other ‘revolving’ credit accounts,” but it is only one of 6 items in that segment, and, in fact, is listed fifth.

One of the other items (one that you failed to mention) is “The amount owed on different types of accounts.”  That introduces the idea of scoring based on specific types of loans—credit cards and installment accounts, for example.  Another is, merely, “How many accounts have balances,” which has nothing to do with how much credit is actually used.

In 2009, a Fair Isaac spokesman told me: “When my company explains FICO scoring to a general audience, we apply general weights to major data categories such as, ‘Amounts Owed is 30 percent of a typical consumer’s score.’ We don’t break that weighting into finer parts for individual factors, both to avoid unintentionally misleading the public and to protect the model’s proprietary information. “

But if all of that is not overt enough for you, try this.  Using the same words (apparently finally giving in, using the same, popular, over-simplifying street term) you use, Fair Isaac mentions this about the 30% category:  “Credit utilization, one of the factors evaluated in this category, considers the amount you owe compared to how much credit you have available.”

So, now we finally know—in words straight from the horse’s mouth—that “Credit utilization” (despite wacky Wikipedia‘s inaccurate information) does not account for 30 percent of the score calculation; it is only one of the factors in the 30% category (and we have only a vague idea of its weight).  What is not clear about that?  You used quotation marks around the term credit utilization.  Who are you quoting?

And, whose rule of thumb is it to use no more than a third of available credit?  Is there some plateau at 33 percent?  Are there only diminishing returns below that?

The state of the fourth estate is pathetic, so I created a website to deal with your industry’s poor attitude regarding accuracy.  Corrections are published on Page A2.

Finally, what are you doing about my comments that you removed?


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

[UPDATE, 2012-12-03 5:30 PM EST: Continued on Page A2]

Some have no credit score

In a commentary for UPI, Morgan Strong wrote

There is another thing far more certain than mere superstition that awaits the  newborn. There is a Social Security number and a credit rating. Beginning with  our squalling breech of the womb, we are marked by this obscenity. This marking,  indelible yet unseen, our credit score, will continue throughout our lives and  in effect compel us to make the choice of the path we are to follow.

That is inaccurate.  Consumer reporting agency files are not recorded and retained on the newborn.  If there is no information on a consumer, then there is no credit score.  According to the state of New York Department of State, Division of Consumer Protection, “The credit agencies do not knowingly keep credit files on minors.”

 

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

From: Greg Fisher [mailto:greg@creditscoring.com]
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
creditscoring.com
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 [mailto:greg@creditscoring.com]
Sent: Tuesday, October 02, 2012 11:32 AM
To: Liz Weston; Liz Weston (via Amazon.com)
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 http://blog.creditscoring.com/?p=4215.

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
creditscoring.com
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
creditscoring.com
PO Box 342
Dayton, Ohio  45409-0342

Who is the Washington Post’s source?

From: Greg Fisher [mailto:greg@creditscoring.com]
Sent: Wednesday, September 26, 2012 5:29 AM
To: Donald E. Graham, chairman, Washington Post Company
Cc: Michelle Singletary, columnist, Washington Post; Patrick B. Pexton, ombudsman, Washington Post; Danielle Douglas, reporter, Washington Post; Ylan Q. Mui, reporter, Washington Post; Ylan Q. Mui; Meredith Hooker, managing editor for Internet, The Gazette; Allan Lichtman, professor, Department of History, American University; The Washington Post Company; John Temple, managing editor, Washington Post; Ken Harney
Subject: credit score, employers, Washington Post, 2012-09-25

See this message and your response at http://blog.creditscoring.com/?p=4205, http://blog.creditscoring.com/?tag=trope-even-employers and http://blog.creditscoring.com/?tag=washington-post-company.

You published, “Credit agencies have come under greater scrutiny as consumer advocates question the accuracy of the scores, which affect the ability to get a mortgage, car loan, credit card and sometimes even a job.”

Who is your source regarding credit score use by employers?


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