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.


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

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