Myth in myths article

With regard to the so-called “utilization ratio,” common sense says More = Bad, and Less = Good, and the scoring model conforms to that intuitive notion.  But, here is another unfortunate case of misinformation; a syndicated error.

Recently, the bankrupt Tribune Company announced a new leader.  Perhaps this is a new beginning for errors and corrections.

From: Greg Fisher []
Sent: Sunday, January 20, 2013 11:53 AM
To: Gregory Karp, Tribune Newspapers (2) Cc: Beverly Harzog, credit card expert, author, and consumer advocate; Adam Levin, chairman, cofounder and expert,
Subject: Myth in myths article

See this message and your response at

In “Credit scoring myths — and the facts,” You wrote: “Instead of looking at how much credit you have, scoring systems look at your ‘credit utilization,’ how much of your available credit you’re actually using at any given time. Credit experts are usually reluctant to say exactly what the ideal credit use is, but when pressed, [ chairman and co-founder Adam] Levin said it’s 10 percent, as ridiculous as that sounds.”

That statement is inaccurate.  According to Fair Isaac, the FICO score company, “Generally speaking, the higher your utilization rate is, the greater is the risk that you will default on a credit account within the next two years… That’s why it’s always good advice to keep your credit card balances low – the lower the better.”

Adam Levin’s own website even states (comprehensively, and with near-perfect symmetry), “The lower your ratio, the higher your score will be,” and “The higher the ratio, the lower your score will likely be.”

Avoid errors in your reporting by referring to “Credit score tips, information and guidelines for journalists/reporters.” See #3.

What is your editor’s name?

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

6/6/15 update: His response.