Da nooz of da day
A wild ride down a rabbit hole in New Jersey, the expert meets the dean of dating disasters and that (you know what).
nj.com (aka the Star-Ledger) publishes a letter from a reader, one “Harry in Basking Ridge,” who says he has a credit score that would be outrageously high on one score’s scale. He got it by applying for a credit card (an important point). But, he wants to know, essentially, why certain things “adversely” affect his score, and why the system could see his credit file as negative.
Here’s the thing: In theory, all credit scores are all negative, unless perfect. And, they all come with reasons that the score is not higher. The only other non-negative possibility is Dave Ramsey‘s oft-repeated misinformation piece: No score due to lack of, or insufficient, credit history (just not enough data to go on to even calculate a score).
Reporters will be reporters, so the scribe with the by-line plows right in without getting clarification. Along for the ride is another willing quotable person as the newspaper reporter gives a wild explanation considering a multitude of fun facts, possibilities and speculations–about FICO scores, another score brand, a home equity line of credit, a personal line of credit, dubious advice about the proportion of balances to credit limits on revolving accounts and even mistaken identity.
Then, it goes off the rails with a comment about “default issues.”
Harry, that’s probably insulting, so a let’s talk.
While we’re waiting for him to make contact, consider a deeper implication of his scenario. Recent credit score disclosures, required by law, leave much to the imagination. One might say “Scores range from a low of 300 to a high of 850,” but what credit score it refers to is anybody’s guess.
Some disclosures say, “Your credit score ranks higher than [x] percent of U.S. consumers.” What the reader’s disclosure said in that regard is a mystery.
But, in a very peculiar case, another publication by the same company touched on the issue without even knowing it. If only…
Out of the disclosure rabbit hole (for now), we bravely head into the Fox hole known as dating. The newspaper named the New York Times made it all the rage this year with a lovely little Christmas day tale, but unfortunately for the Times, the facts (and errors by the Times presented as facts) are unraveling.
But who wouldn’t want to see the ever-ebullient Dean of Dating, chuckling Chucky-Chuck Woolery, again?! He’s the expert on love, and John Ulzheimer is the expert on credit scores. Take a look, and come back in 2 and 2.
Of all the Chucks, this guy is, well, one of them (because the best still rocks (‘n rolls)).
The takeaway for industry: Conduct a survey and get press, but be careful what you wish for.
The takeaway for citizens–consumers of news/infotainment: Don’t believe a thing that freecreditscore.com (Experian) says, despite their funny lip-synching, loveable loser band commercials.
Fox in the FOX house
“A poor credit score can haunt you throughout adulthood, affecting your ability to rent an apartment, finance a car, buy a home or even land your dream job.” – some guy, yesterday, published on a Fox Television Stations website
So, here we are. After 5 years, we still get a bald-faced and unsupported false statement like that. It is horrible. Notice the now-you-see-it-now-you-don’t change regarding a Louisiana State University study on a Rupert Murdoch website, the honorable correction by another party and the myth of the decade, still, on government websites.