A reply from a Patch editor


Tim Armstrong is the chairman and CEO of AOL. That means that he is in control (if you can call it that) of the Huffington Post and Patch. When Armstrong was asked for the source of a claim on Patch, the response came from a Patch editor:

From: Rebecca McCarthy
Sent: Wednesday, August 15, 2012 3:21 PM
To: greg@creditscoring.com
Subject: Re: credit score, employers, Athens Patch, AOL

The author of the story.

On her page titled, “About Rebecca About Rebecca“[SIC] McCarthy states, “I worked as a staff writer for the Atlanta Journal Constitution, and for other newspapers.”

credit score, employers, Athens Patch, AOL

From: Greg Fisher [mailto:greg@creditscoring.com]
Sent: Wednesday, August 15, 2012 3:14 PM
To: Tim Armstong, chairman and CEO, AOL (via Maureen Sullivan)
Cc: Rebecca McCarthy, editor, Athens Patch, AOL; Jon Brod, CEO and co-founder, Patch, AOL
Subject: credit score, employers, Athens Patch, AOL

See this message and your response at http://blog.creditscoring.com/?p=4132 and http://blog.creditscoring.com/?tag=aol.

You published, “Your credit score can actually persuade a company to hire or not hire you if you are seeking employment.”

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

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, number of accounts, America Now, Raycom Media, Leeza

From: Greg Fisher [mailto:greg@creditscoring.com]
Sent: Thursday, August 09, 2012 10:19 AM
To: Leeza Gibbons, famous person
Cc: Paul McTear, president, CEO, Raycom Media; Ryan Houston, reporter, WALB TV, Albany, GA, Raycom Media; Rebecca Bryan, vice president, corporate counsel, Raycom Media
Subject: credit score, number of accounts, America Now, Raycom Media

You introduced a report whose associated document states:

You know all those ways you’ve heard for improving your credit score? Some of them may be bad advice.

So we’re out to bust those credit myths and put you on the right track to building better spending practices…

Having more or fewer accounts will improve credit? False.

There’s a happy medium for the amount of credit you have. Too many accounts makes you top heavy. That creates more risk. Your credit will reflect that.

In addition to the obvious contradiction, one of the factors of a credit score is “Number of established accounts.”

What is your correction policy?

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

Canada Day: Reuters falls for math myth, moth-to-flame

In this bicentennial year, with apologies to a gracious nation of people of warm hospitality, here is the belated Canada Day update.  Try the wines of Niagara-on-the-Lake, and the mussels and ice cream found there, originating at P.E.I.

And, now, on with the show.  It’s a doozy.

On his little Reuters website, a real media baron published this quote from a Fair Isaac spokesman, “‘Credit utilization (amounts owed as a percentage of available credit) counts for 30 percent of a person’s credit score.'”

It must have been given in writing (unless the dude can inflect parentheses).

The Fair Isaac statement is false because it is mathematically impossible.  Here’s the doozy part– a mind-blower:  The credit score company’s spokesman in the Reuters item even replied, “I understand well that ‘amounts owed’ is driven by half a dozen factors not just utilization.”


Credit score expert John Ulzheimer calls this nonsense a myth.

Win column:

Losers column:

and more.

But, consider the source– not the one in the journalistic sense, but the source of the reach of the repeated rumor: Reuters.  For another eyeful, see Canada Day, 2011: Reuters on employers and credit scores.

This monkey business about the so-called “credit utilization” is all Dr. Veghead‘s fault. A Kat Malone he is not.

A message to the really wrong Reuters rumor repeating rookie writer: Let me know when you have completed Poynter’s Math for Journalists: Help With Numbers.