inaccurate information, correction policy, factual error, msnbc.com, Comcast / Microsoft

From: Greg Fisher [mailto:greg@creditscoring.com]
Sent: Thursday, February 23, 2012 1:51 PM
To: Bill Gates, chairman, Microsoft (via Waggener Edstrom Worldwide); Brian L. Roberts, chairman and CEO, Comcast Corporation (via Adam Miller, EVP, Corporate Affairs, NBCUniversal, Comcast)
Cc: Bob Sullivan, reporter, msnbc.com, NBCUniversal, Comcast / Micorsoft; D’Arcy F. Rudnay, senior VP, corporate communications, Comcast
Subject: inaccurate information, correction policy, factual error, msnbc.com, Comcast / Microsoft

You published: “An HR department facing a stack of 100 resumes for one job would love a numerical tool that could automatically whittle the pile to five or six. HR departments already do some of this whittling based on credit scores.”

That is inaccurate information.  Consumer reporting agencies do not provide credit scores for employment purposes.

Who is your source?  What is your correction policy?  Will you make a permanent correction and acknowledge the factual error on the story’s original page?


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

 

Colorado, Morgan and the credit score zombie myth

The news media seem to repeat anything politicians tell them, including what one expert calls “The Myth of the Decade.”

That was the last decade, by the way.

The credit-scores-are-used-by-employers zombie myth’s life undead existence was reanimated again recently thanks to CBS’s Channel 4 in Denver, the Associated Press, the Denver Post— and the Post and the AP acting together.  The inaccurate information is even back on Wikipedia.

At the Colorado statehouse, the misinformation pushes Senate Bill 3 toward the brink. State senator Morgan Carrol’s bill states, “In spite of these systemic flaws, the nonpartisan public policy research and advocacy organization Demos concluded in its 2011 report ‘Discrediting America‘ that consumer credit scores and credit reports are being used more often and in more contexts than ever before, including by employers, utility companies, and insurers.”

Join the side of the truth, or the zombie myth may never end, Morgan.  Morgan.  Three years.  Three years.

Forbes misinformation about credit scores (typo also)

The Dirty Secret About Your Credit Score” is a deliciously seductive title of an inaccurate article on Forbes.com from Investopedia (too many –pedias) which is owned by ValueClick.

The filthy secret (are you sitting down?) is this: Loan interest rates are based on credit scores.

See “variable pricing” (now known as risk-based pricing) on creditscoring.com, circa 1998.

Before that 2010 shocker from ValueClick, in a typical introduction, the piece states, “It is a deciding factor for landlords in picking renters and some employers use credit scores to find dependable workers.”

Employers do not use credit scores because they cannot even get them (despite the story going around in Colorado the Colorado statehouse).

That rumor has a friend at Forbes (named Forbes).  Recently, Fair Isaac myFICO.com service namesake Suze Orman showed up and talked to a Forbes family member and did the deed.

Sloppy, sloppy, sloppy, New York.  And, there is a typographical error.  The ValueClick story says, “It determines the cost of majorpurchases[SIC] like cars and homes.”

At least they didn’t use the word even.

 

credit score, employers, Advance Publications, insults

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

Greg,

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” <greg@creditscoring.com> 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
creditscoring.com
PO Box 342
Dayton, Ohio  45409-0342


From: Yvonne Zipp
Sent: Friday, February 17, 2012 12:13 PM
To: greg@creditscoring.com
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.

http://abcnews.go.com/Business/story?id=7919922&page=1#.Tz6GTXLeySo

http://www.usatoday.com/money/workplace/2011-04-07-credit-reports-in-hiring-decisions.htm

http://www.nytimes.com/2011/05/30/opinion/30mon3.html

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
MLive.com
[telephone number]

 

[previous message]

credit score, employers, Advance Publications, Sent from my iPhone

From: Greg Fisher [mailto:greg@creditscoring.com]
Sent: Friday, February 17, 2012 11:45 AM
To: James Stephanak, publisher, Kalamazoo Gazette; Yvonne Zipp, business reporter, Kalamazoo Gazette; S. I. Newhouse Jr., chairman and CEO, Advance Publications, Inc.; Jeff Brown, executive director, Poverty Reduction Initiative
Cc: Donald Roberts, chairman, Poverty Reduction Initiative; Lucy Danziger, editor-in-chief, SELF (Condé Nast, Advance Publications)
Subject: RE: credit score, employers, Poverty Reduction Initiative, errors and corrections

Mr. Stephanak, do you use credit scores in employment screening?

Ms. Zipp, who are your last two employers?  What do the forms say, specifically, about credit scores?

Mr. Newhouse, see “Suze Orman’s social experiment.”

Mr. Brown, there was a reference to me, but I said nothing in that article.  And, you are wrong about my question.  As you can see, Ms. Zipp is still snowed, believing what you said.  The question is (still): What evidence suggests that an increasing number of large employers (or any employer, at all) use credit scores?

You have not answered it.  Is your answer None?

Are you trying to say that you confused the terms score and report?  Indeed, they are quite different things.

This is not about credit scores as much as it is about the life of a piece of misinformation.  Please do your part.


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


From: Jeff Brown [mailto:director@haltpoverty.org]
Sent: Friday, February 17, 2012 9:44 AM
To: greg@creditscoring.com
Cc: Yvonne Zipp, business reporter, Kalamazoo Gazette; James Stephanak, publisher, Kalamazoo Gazette
Subject: Re: credit score, employers, Poverty Reduction Initiative

Mr. Fisher,

Thanks for your thoughts and comments. Its important to distinguish between credit score and credit report and clearly these two have been confused and used interchangeable. As you said in the article quoted here… http://www.smartcredit.com/blog/2010/12/16/credit-scores-used-by-employers-the-myth-of-the-decade/

I guess the question would be…do credit reports get used to impact employer decisions on job applications?

Thanks for your insight.

Jeff


From: Zipp, Yvonne [mailto:YZIPP@mlive.com]
Sent: Friday, February 17, 2012 9:33 AM
To: <greg@creditscoring.com>
Subject: Re: credit score, employers, Poverty Reduction Initiative

Greg, 

Employers absolutely can ask for permission to review your credit score before making a hire.

In fact, I signed a form giving that permission for my last two jobs.

Best wishes,

Yvonne

Sent from my iPhone

 

[previous message] [next message]

credit score, employers, Poverty Reduction Initiative

From: Greg Fisher [mailto:greg@creditscoring.com]
Sent: Friday, February 17, 2012 9:27 AM
To: Jeff Brown, executive director, Poverty Reduction Initiative
Cc: Yvonne Zipp, business reporter, Kalamazoo Gazette; James Stephanak, publisher, Kalamazoo Gazette
Subject: credit score, employers, Poverty Reduction Initiative

See this message and your response at http://blog.creditscoring.com/?p=3436, http://blog.creditscoring.com/?cat=73 and http://blog.creditscoring.com/?cat=13.

You said, “[SIC]Increasing number of large employers are using these scores — not only are you not going to have a good credit score, you’re not going to be able to get a job.”

Employers do not use credit scores because they cannot even get them; the consumer reporting agencies do not provide credit scores for employment purposes.  What evidence suggests that an increasing number of large employers (or any employer, at all) use credit scores?

We don’t know how it’s going to turn out, but we are creating a world of misinformation.  What will you do to stop it?


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

 

[next message]

credit score, employers, Washington Post Company

From: Greg Fisher [mailto:greg@creditscoring.com]
Sent: Thursday, February 16, 2012 7:40 PM
To: Ylan Q. Mui, reporter, Washington Post
Cc: Patrick B. Pexton, ombudsman, Washington Post; Donald E. Graham, chairman, Washington Post Company
Subject: credit score, employers, Washington Post Company

See this message and your response at http://blog.creditscoring.com/?p=3433 and http://blog.creditscoring.com/?tag=washington-post-company.  Also, see Tips for reporters; you need it (and so does your editor).

You wrote

Those scores have become crucial in the aftermath of the financial crisis. Some employers are even looking at credit scores as criteria for jobs. A car, a home, a college education are all financed by lenders that rely on the score to determine who gets credit and how much they pay for it.

Your word even is a real hoot!  Employers do not use credit scores.  The consumer reporting agencies do not even provide credit scores for employment purposes.

An ethical journalist cites his source.  Who is your source?  Is it Wikipedia?


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

 

Credit score tips, information and guidelines for journalists/reporters

Reporters, the internet is clogged with misinformation, rumor, urban legends and bad and inaccurate reporting with little mechanism for error correction.  Do not add to it.  Use these guidelines to avoid creating problems for yourself and for consumers of information.

  1. Do not report that employers use credit scores.  Despite what Fair Isaac, Reuters, the Federal Reserve and others say, employers do not use credit scores. You don’t want some unemployed person looking for a job spending their last dollar on a credit score because of your bad reporting, do you?
  2. Do not report that the so-called “utilization ratio” accounts for 30% of the FICO credit score.  Yes, it says that on Wikipedia, but it also says, inaccurately, that employers use credit scores (see item 1, above).  Do not use Wikipedia as your source for anything (unless you are criticizing it).
  3. Do not advise consumers to limit their so-called utilization ratio to 30%.  FICO spokesmen said, “The lower that utilization number is, the better it is for your score,” and “The FICO brain trust says there is no specific number that qualifies as a ‘good’ ratio, just that lower is always better.”
  4. Do not report an average credit score.  It is unknown.
  5. Tell your boss to institute a correction procedure for published errors and to make your correction policy public.
  6. Cite your sources, period.
  7. If you have any questions, send them via email.  If you’re on a fake “deadline” made up by your boss and cannot wait, too bad.  Delay your little report (and, start earlier next time) and tell your boss to stop being ridiculous.

Report something stupid and you’ll end up on creditscoring.com.

Tips for reporters for updates.

 

credit score, employers, Associated Press

From: Greg Fisher [mailto:greg@creditscoring.com]
Sent: Sunday, February 12, 2012 10:33 PM
To: Eileen AJ Connelly, Associated Press
Cc: William Dean Singleton (via Bernie Fischer, MediaNews Group), chairman & CEO, MediaNews Group
Subject: credit score, employers, Associated Press

You wrote, “Not having a credit score, or having a low one, also can mean higher car insurance rates, higher rent, difficulty getting a job and paying higher interest rates for any credit available.”

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

Who is your source?

What will you do to correct your error?


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

 

 

credit score, employers, CBS4 Denver

From: Greg Fisher [mailto:greg@creditscoring.com]
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 http://blog.creditscoring.com/?p=3386.

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