credit score, FICO availability, Associated Press

From: Greg Fisher
Sent: Friday, April 08, 2011
To: William Dean Singleton, chairman, Associated Press; William Dean Singleton (via Bernie Fischer, MediaNews Group), chairman & CEO, MediaNews Group
Cc:; Candice Choi, personal finance writer, Associated Press
Subject: credit score, FICO availability, Associated Press

See this message and your response at  

Your reporter wrote:

As background, lenders rely on two types of scores to gauge a borrower’s risk. FICO scores, which range from 300 to 850, are still the predominantly used scores. But VantageScores, which were developed by the three credit bureaus and range from 501 to 990, have gained popularity in recent years too.

The type of score you’ll get depends on where you buy it.

TransUnion sells both versions to consumers. Equifax only sells FICO scores and Experian markets the PLUS score on its homepage.

Where does TransUnion sell FICO scores?

If Equifax only sells FICO scores, then what is the Equifax Credit Score?

Greg Fisher
The Credit Scoring Site
PO Box 342
Dayton, Ohio  45409-0342 spreads credit score/job myth Score Guys

From: Greg Fisher 
Sent: Thursday, March 31, 2011
To: Rob Wyse, Media First Public Relations
Cc: Caitlin Senior, Media First Public Relations
Subject: RE: credit score, employers, VII

See this message and your reply at

Yesterday, you wrote: “Said [a school teacher], ‘While every person might not use much of what they learn in Algebra 2 and Calculus throughout their life, every person must understand credit scores. Good credit and good credit scores can be the key to the future for students in getting a loan, and even getting a job.’”

Also, your September 8, 2009 press release states:  “‘Credit scores and credit reports play a much bigger part in your finances than most people know,’ says spokesperson Rob Wyse. ‘Poor scores can cost you a higher interest rate, a job, or even a place to live. That’s why it’s so important to see where your credit stands and to make sure the information in your credit files is accurate.'”

What evidence suggests that employers use credit scores?

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

[next email]

FICO score service on TransUnion website to end

The availability of FICO scores on TransUnion’s website will end by March 31, 2011, according to TransUnion’s Steve Katz.

Consumers will still have access to FICO scores based on TransUnion files at after the end of the TransUnion Consumer Solutions service.

Equifax FICOs are available from myFICO or  Consumers’ access to Experian FICO scores ended in 2009.

What is THE average credit score?

Last month, in what seemed like a big scoop over its rival news agencies, the Associated Press reported that, now, 25.5% of Americans have FICO scores below 600.  But, the score model in that report is a new score, FICO 8 (BEACON 09), which is not sanctioned by the two big housing finance agencies, nor even the one sold to consumers by the main scoring company.  The story stuck.  Following questioning by, FICO (the company) removed FICO (the score) distribution charts from its website.

This month, rival news agency Reuters struck back.  On Friday, in her story “Scorning debt, consumers’ credit scores soar,” Helen Chernikoff wrote, “The average credit score rose to 704 in July, a level not seen since the first quarter of 1998, according to data that Equifax Inc (EFX.N), one of the largest U.S. credit bureaus, provided exclusively to Reuters.”

To what score model she refers is unclear.  In the article, 850 is the highest score on the scale, but there is no mention of the lowest.  So, to the average person, the model might look like the broad-based risk FICO credit bureau score BEACON 5.0 available to consumers at myFICO and required by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.

Or, it could be something else.

That is because the consumer reporting agencies play a childish game with numbers, creating credit scores with scales similar to that of the well-known FICO score, 300-850.  TransUnion even makes one, called Transrisk, that has exactly the same scale as the FICO–300 to 850.  There’s PLUS at Experian (330-830).  And, in the case of the company that is subject of the fabulous exclusive Reuters story, there is the Equifax Risk Score 3.0 (280-850).

Wikipedia Credit Karma/FICO baloney

The 4-year mess continues.  But, how long will it take the collective brain of the world to figure out this one?

Genius contributes:  “Credit Karma will provide the FICO score from TransUnion for free, but will not provide the actual credit report.”

But, as any idiot can see, at the “wiki” about Credit Karma:

Credit Karma provides users with a proprietary credit score model. The scoring is on a scale of 300 to 850 which is the same scale as FICO Score from Fair Issac Corporation.

And, what a coincidence!  The Credit Karma score scale is exactly the same as the FICO!  No wonder the wiki is whack. 

The editors were duped again by just another Fake-O flim flam.

What is a credit score?

What is a credit score? gives consumer reporting industry and federal government definitions for the term credit score.

Experian:  15 definitions on 7 websites.  Takes the prize for the most shelf space and elegant variation.

Equifax:  Among others, gives the FICO score definition.  Discord with TransUnion over what period FICO predicts.

TransUnion:  Typographical error in FAQ.

FICO (the artist formerly known as Fair, Isaac and Fair Isaac), U.S. Treasury, HUD, FTC, FDIC and FCIC finish the set.

Employers, credit score, Wall Street Journal II


Date: Wed, 25 Mar 2009 12:14:49 -0400
To: Mary Pilon, Wall Street Journal
From: “” <>
Subject: credit score, employer


This appears in a browser’s title bar for this story: “One in Six Employers Look at Your Credit Score – The Wallet – WSJ”

The description of the page that appears (in addition to the title, above) in search engine results is defined by this, found in the page code:

meta name=”description” content=”Many employers are checking job candidates’ credit scores, but how big of a factor are credit scores in a company’s eventual decision to hire?”

Recently, TransUnion claimed that they made an error in their survey: “The word ‘score’ was inadvertently used and the results based on that phrasing were communicated to you… TransUnion does not provide a credit score for employment screening purposes.”

Did you get that message from TransUnion? Will you make a correction?