creditscoring.com to Salon: Answer the question now

From: Greg Fisher [mailto:greg@creditscoring.com]
Sent: Friday, December 30, 2011 6:45 AM
To: John Warnock, chairman, Salon Media Group Inc.
Cc: Don Hazen, executive director, Independent Media Institute
Subject: RE: credit score, employers, Salon, 2011-12-02 II

Your article:  “A credit score is created when an algorithm is applied to the data in your credit file.”

Another publication’s article:  “A credit score is created when an algorithm is applied to the data in your credit file.”

Answer the question now.


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

[PREVIOUS MESSAGE]

Salon can’t spell, and errs on employers and credit scores

From: Greg Fisher [mailto:greg@creditscoring.com]
Sent: Tuesday, December 27, 2011 2:01 PM
To: John Warnock, chairman, Salon Media Group Inc.
Subject: credit score, employers, Salon, 2011-12-02

See this message and your response at http://blog.creditscoring.com/?p=3062.

You published, “Your credit score affects everything from job offers to home loans — and the way it’s calculated is deeply flawed.”

Credit score use by employers is an urban legend.  The consumer reporting agencies do not provide credit scores for employment purposes.

Will you make a correction?

Also, you spelled Isaac wrong.


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

[NEXT MESSAGE]

TransUnion on credit scores and the myth about closing accounts

On a page actually titled “Credit Myths and Misconceptions,” TransUnion states this:
 
Credit myths and credit misconceptions are plentiful. Don’t let incorrect information influence your credit behavior. Some of the most common credit myths are…

It helps to close old accounts.
This credit myth advocates closing old and inactive accounts to hike up your score. However, this might inadvertently have the opposite affect and lower your credit score because now the credit history appears shorter.

 
However, credit score expert John Ulzheimer discusses closing accounts with a reader saying, “You’ve identified what I believe is the 2nd most common myth in credit scoring, right behind ‘employers using credit scores.’”
 

credit score, utilization ratio, Moneyland, Time Magazine, Time Warner Inc.

From: Greg Fisher [mailto:greg@creditscoring.com]
Sent: Monday, December 19, 2011 2:54 PM
To: Jeffrey L. Bewkes, chairman of the board and CEO, Time Warner Inc.
Cc: Scott Medintz, editor, MoneyLand, Time Magazine; Scott Medintz, editor, MoneyLand, Time Magazine; Chris Farrell, economics editor, Marketplace Money, American Public Media; Ian R. Friendly, chair, Board of Trustees, Minnesota public Radio and executive vice president, chief operating officer, U.S. Retail, General Mills
Subject: RE: credit score, myth, proportion of balances, Time Warner Inc.

See this message and your response at http://blog.creditscoring.com/?p=3051, http://blog.creditscoring.com/?cat=134 and http://blog.creditscoring.com/?tag=time-warner.

You published, “When it comes to your score, 30% consists of the amounts you owe in relation to your available credit — an equation called your utilization ratio.”

Either your source misled you or your math is off.  Who is your source regarding your claim of the 30 percent importance of the so-called “utilization ratio”?  It is, indeed, a myth.

Earlier this month, another journalist made a correction about the same issue.  However, he failed to provide the source for his original claim.  Peculiarly, even the article to which his story links calls it a myth.

And, who calls it “utilization ratio,” anyway?


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

[previous email attached]

Wikipedia’s Jimmy wales on myth about employers using credit scores

When the person most associated with Wikipedia edits a Wikipedia article, it’s news.  But, today, his side–the truth–is losing.  Here is what has happened, so far.

December 8.  Wikipedian user 168.103.203.229 adds “Employers look at a[SIC] applicants[SIC] credit score prior to offering a position for employment and has[SIC] stirred controversy in many states,” a bogus (if not, ungrammatical) claim.  It is the first and last entry by that user.

December 10. @creditscoring tweets “Christmas came early this year. http://blog.creditscoring.com/?p=2997 So, #nowwhat, @jimmy_wales and #wikipedia?”

December 11. @jimmy_wales removes the inaccurate information.  The revision states, “rm unsourced controversial claim.”

December 12. Wikipedia user Cookiehead adds, “In 2009, TransUnion representatives testified before the Connecticut legislature about their practice of marketing credit score reports to employers for use in the hiring process.”

December 13. @creditscoring tweets “.@jimmy_wales TransUnion testifies on credit scores in employment. http://blog.creditscoring.com/?p=3013.”

The link connects to a quote of a TransUnion official who (in 2009 and before the Connecticut legislature, no less) testified, “Now, credit scores aren’t used in employment decisions so let’s get that straight.”

 

Christmas comes early: Wikipedia on credit scores and employers

Santa came early this year.

The 2011 holly jolly folly (by golly) from Wikipedia is the credit-scores-are-used-by-employers myth.  The silly website (some dude called Jimbo has something to do with it) says, “Employers look at a[SIC] applicants[SIC] credit score prior to offering a position for employment and has stirred controversy in many states.”

Wikipedia looks like an encyclopedia, but is really just a message board.  What will happen next?

CoreLogic FICO. Whoop-dee-doo.

There’s no hiding now,” warns the New York Times.

Oh, (Big) brother.  It’s another “new” score thingamajig.  Here are some other “new” ones to fear:

2000.  FICO NextGen
2003.  Experian – PLUS
2006.  VantageScore
2007.  FICO 8 (aka FICO 08)

And now, in 2011, the announcement of an exciting, bold, new CoreLogic FICO scoring solution! 

Whoop-dee-doo.

The Wall Street Journal Sunday, Final response

From: Greg Fisher [mailto:greg@creditscoring.com]
Sent: Thursday, December 08, 2011 3:25 PM
To: Alexa von Tobel, CEO & founder, LearnVest; Maria Lin, editor in chief, Learnvest, Inc.; Dani Dalesandro, Sunshine Sachs, press inquiries contact for LearnVest, Inc.
Cc: Ann Kaplan, chair of the board, LearnVest; Teri Everett, senior vice president, Corporate Affairs & Communications, News Corporation; Emily Glazer, reporter, Wall Street Journal, News Corporation
Subject: RE: credit score, utilization ratio, closing accounts, LearnVest, fabulous New York bunk

[FORWARD THIS MESSAGE TO LIBBY KANE]

Libby Kane, staff writer, LearnVest
740 Broadway, Suite 1002
New York, NY 10012

You wrote, “This ratio of how much credit you’re using to how much credit you could use accounts for about 30% of your credit score.”

That is a bunch of balderdash.

You also wrote, “When you close a card, you lose the credit history that went with it.”

That is pure poppycock.

Who are your sources?


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

[MESSAGES BELOW, AND PRIOR EMAIL, WERE ATTACHED] 


From: Greg Fisher [mailto:greg@creditscoring.com]
Sent: Thursday, June 23, 2011 5:49 PM
To: Emily Glazer, reporter, Wall Street Journal
Cc: Ann Kaplan, chair of the board, LearnVest; Maria Lin, editor in chief, Learnvest, Inc.; Alexa von Tobel, CEO & founder, LearnVest; Melissa Rudy; Jennifer Waters, columnist, Consumer Confidential, MarketWatch, Wall Street Journal, News Corporation; John Ulzheimer, The Ulzheimer Group; Teri Everett, senior vice president, Corporate Affairs & Communications, News Corporation
Subject: RE: credit score, employers, Wall Street Journal, LearnVest II

What is your editor’s name?


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


From: Glazer, Emily
Sent: Thursday, June 23, 2011 4:59 PM
To: ‘greg@creditscoring.com’
Subject: Final response

Hi Greg,

I spoke with my editor and there will be no correction as I have confirmation from my source (who has also emailed you) about the accuracy of the information in the article. I believe I wrote this back to you, as did Alexa and people from LearnVest.

Thank you,

Emily

Emily Glazer | The Wall Street Journal Sunday
[address]
[phone] | [email address] | @emilyglazerwsj

The Wall Street Journal Sunday teams leading metropolitan newspapers with The Wall Street Journal in an authoritative and useful package of original investment news, personal-finance articles and career advice. (For recent stories check out: wsj.com/Sunday)


From: Greg Fisher [mailto:greg@creditscoring.com]
Sent: Friday, June 10, 2011 12:51 PM
To: Alexa von Tobel, CEO & founder, LearnVest
Cc: Ann Kaplan, chair of the board, LearnVest; Maria Lin, editor in chief, Learnvest, Inc.; Emily Glazer, reporter, Wall Street Journal
Subject: RE: credit score, employers, Wall Street Journal, LearnVest II

When do you return?


[PRIOR EMAIL

 

Not Too Big to Let Fail: Wells Fargo (on credit scores in employment)

A Massachusetts state representative, a Believer, fell for the urban legend that employers use credit scores.  Asked for proof, the politician replied: “How to prove? AG Edwards is one I know of.”

A.G. Edwards, Inc. was acquired by Wachovia Securities, who was later acquired by Wells Fargo & Company.

Last month, the Florida Courier gave a Wells Fargo mouthpiecesenior vice president” an editorial column to spout off about credit scores.  The first sentence says, “Many of us are misinformed when it comes to credit.”

Uh– us,  indeed.  It – only – takes – four – clicks from Wells Fargo’s home page to get misinformed by this ridiculous little gem of a bullet point:

Employers often check the credit rating of prospective employees. A solid credit rating reflects positively on your ability to manage your job responsibly.

On the contrary, the consumer reporting agencies all state that they do not provide credit scores for employment purposes.

But what is a credit rating (as opposed to a credit score)Credit rating is a loose term bankers have thrown around for years, long before credit scores, to strike fear in the hearts of loan applicants.  It was a vague notion of some kind of evaluation of you that only wise bankers knew.  But today, according to the important, big, too-big-to-let-fail Wells Fargo, the terms are interchangeable:

Credit Score
Also known as a credit rating. Many lenders use this numeric calculation of your credit report to obtain a fast, objective measure of your credit risk, and consider your score when deciding whether or not to approve a loan.

Here’s another one (in an education sub-directory, no less):

Credit scores
A credit score — also known as a credit rating — is a numeric value based on the information contained in your credit report. That score (usually between 300 and 850) tells the lender the level of future risk associated with your credit history. The higher the score, the lower the risk.

But if you think linking the terms rating and score is a stretch, and the those instances are merely the result of keyboard finger-flapping by some low-ranking cubicle rat under pressure to write a silly website for a silly bank, then here is something overtly despicable:  Telling children the credit scores and employers urban legend:

8. c. Not just lenders but landlords and employers also use credit scores as a decision-making factor, so it’s important to build a good credit history and achieve a high score.

and

A lower score may even jeopardize your chances for landing a job.

It’s enough to make you fall off the Wells Fargo wagon.