False information on government website

The efficacy of a social media message

Lena Taylor
Senator (D-Milwaukee), Wisconsin legislature

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

However, you wrote, “Approximately 40% of employers check credit scores when making hiring decisions.”

So, your information is false.  Who provided that statistic?


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

Wisconsin Capitol
Wisconsin Capitol
Wisconsin Capitol (aerial view)
Wisconsin Capitol (aerial view)

What lies beneath

A further test of the efficacy of a social media message

Our house is on fire.” – Scott Pelly, anchor and managing editor, CBS Evening News

Sumner Redstone
KYW-TV, FCC License File Number: BLCDT-20090326ABH
CBS Broadcasting Inc.
National Amusements
Norwood, Massachusetts

You continue to misinform citizens, and I am not going to tolerate it.  Stop it today.

Beneath your website page, in the HTML (hypertext markup language) source code, you state:

<metaproperty=”og:description”content=”Whether you’re hoping to buy a new home, a new car or even find a new job – you’d better be sure your credit score is in good shape, it’s being used in more ways than you might think. “/>

So, when you replied, linking your social media message to that page, the unintended consequence was that you kept reporting false information.  The portion of your website that appears in the message summary is the (factually inaccurate) HTML metadata description above.

In your video report (in which the syndicated error and zombie myth lives on), your anchor said, “Whether you’re hoping to buy a new home, a new car or even find a new job – you’d better be sure that your credit score is in good shape.”

Employers do not use credit scores, and you should know it.  If you don’t know it, then you are out of control.

Who wrote the word job in that sentence?  I asked your reporter, “.@jimdonovancbs3 @CBSPhilly, who told you that?” and he did not answer the question. The same report in Rhode Island is no coincidence.  The error has serious consequences for Pennsylvanians.

pennsylvania-rotunda
Pennsylvania Capitol Rotunda

And, what is this business about 30 percent?  Who said that that is “ideally” the right number to be under?

I didn’t write the book about credit scores; I wrote the website.


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

PS No phone calls.

Happy Birthday, Sandy Patterson

Today, May 18, is the birthday of the character Sandy Bigelow Patterson (played by Jason Bateman) in the motion picture “Identity Thief.”

With a play on words, the production notes say, “With everything to lose after his identity is stolen, he’ll find out how crazed you can get trying to settle a bad credit score.”

Indeed, on an already very bad day for Sandy, his boss at his new job adds to his troubles, saying to him: “Your credit score is 240.  A 240!  There are homeless people with better numbers than that.”

However, in the real world, employers cannot get credit scores.

The screenplay was written by Craig Mazin, who has not replied to a social media message.

History lesson: Senate Majority Leader

Testing the efficacy of a social media message

WARNING: You won’t find this in The Fountainhead or the copy of the U.S. Constitution that you carry around in your pocket.

Another one of Rupert Murdoch’s silly websites is factually inaccurate again.

Greta Van Susteren (in her headline, no less) blares, “Look who is going to Capitol Hill — on an invitation from Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell!!”

!! (!)

Van Susteren has not replied.

As a voting citizen, you were involved in compiling a “Complete List of Majority and Minority Leaders (in fact that is exactly what it is called, and it is on your website).  You see?  He’s on the right (the losing side).

That is all elementary, but here is the big questionWho wrote the headline, “Caught between a job and your credit score“?

Hey kids! One positive outcome of this ridiculousness, is identifying, perhaps, what very-well could be the perfect responsive web design page! Watch what happens when you squish your browser window (which is, apparently, the ultimate test of this fabulous, fundamental new standard)! Try it!

Colorado SB13-018

Employers do not use credit scores.  They cannot even get them.

However, the website of Colorado State Senate Majority Leader Morgan Carroll states, as part of her first priority for the 2013 legislative session, “Efforts to ‘Buy Local’ will strengthen our local economy and addressing the misuse of credit scores in hiring practices will help many unemployed people get back to work.”

There is no misuse, of course, because there is no use, at all.

On April 19, Colorado’s governor signed Senate Bill 13-018, making it law.

Senator Carroll‘s website also states, inaccurately, “60% of employers are now using credit scores as part of their hiring decisions. (Discrediting America 2011).”

That refers to a study by an organization named Demos, whose representative testified (with impressive detail) in Connecticut: “And it really just depends on the method through which the employer gets their credit scores. A lot of times they come bundled with background checks, for example, and that’s part of the reason for the proliferation.”

The legislation under consideration in Connecticut that day became law, too.

Now, in New York:

 

Acknowledgement

Here is a list of steps to attempt to get the attention of people who misinform citizens.

1. Email
2. Social media message
3. Postcard
4. Letter
5. Certified letter, return reciept requested
6. Visit, in-person, whistle stop

Further steps (if necessary) might include cash, merciless berating and singing telegrams.

From: Greg Fisher [mailto:greg@creditscoring.com]
Sent: Wednesday, March 27, 2013 2:50 PM
To: José Quiñonez, executive director, Mission Asset Fund, and chairperson, Consumer Advisory Board, U.S. Consumer Financial Protection Bureau
Subject: The right thing

You wrote: “Experian, a major credit reporting agencies[SIC], estimates that 66 million Americans are unscoreable[SIC]—they do not have enough credit history to generate a credit score. And without a credit score, they can’t get loans to buy cars, start businesses, get mortgages, rent apartments, or even get jobs.”

However, Experian also states, “Employers never get a credit score.”

So, where did you get the idea that employers use credit scores?


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

Greece

Earlier this month, credit score company Fair Isaac promoted a social media message by a woman in Greece who claims, inaccurately, that employers use credit scores.

Employers do not use credit scores.

In her story, which is dated 2010, the writer states, inaccurately:

One area which may be controversial for a fico score to be considered is when they are used by potential employers. Some positions are dependent on a good score, and not measuring up could end up costing you the job you want. Again they are used to assess your reliability and can indicate how responsible you are.

In 2010 news agency Reuters furthered the employers-use-credit-scores myth when it interviewed the Fair Isaac CEO and reported, “FICO officially frowns on the fact that employers, landlords, and the like obtain access to individuals’ credit scores and use those scores as a proxy for that person’s general moral upstandingness.”

Prior to that article, regarding its information about credit scores and employment, Fair Isaac responded to creditscoring.com that it used “anecdotal information gleaned from public sources such as published articles.”

Reuters has not made a correction.

Revolution Capital Group, LLC and the Tampa Tribune

From: Greg Fisher [mailto:greg@creditscoring.com]
Sent: Friday, February 01, 2013 11:01 AM
To: Robert Loring, founder and managing partner, Revolution Capital Group, LLC; William Barker, publisher, Tampa Tribune; William Barker, publisher, Tampa Tribune (2)
Cc: Chris Ingram, president and founder, 411 Communications; Nancy C. Detert, chair, Committee on Commerce and Tourism, Florida Senate; Regan McCarthy, senior producer/assignment editor, WFSU-FM/ Florida Public Radio
Subject: RE: Florida Senate Committee on Commerce and Tourism, Revolution Capital Group

See this message and your response at http://blog.creditscoring.com/?p=4630 and http://blog.creditscoring.com/?tag=florida.

You published, “So the Legislature is here to save the day because Detert has apparently deduced that people are unemployed because they can’t get a job because of the bad economy, which caused them to pay their J.C. Penney bill late, which caused them to get a lower credit score, which employers are using to deny them jobs they would otherwise be hired for.”

Employers do not use credit scores.

Your policy is to correct all errors of fact.


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

[email to WFSU attached]

CFPB on checking your credit score at least once a year

From: Greg Fisher [mailto:greg@creditscoring.com]
Sent: Wednesday, December 12, 2012 11:03 AM
To: Michelle Person, spokesperson, U.S. Consumer Financial Protection Bureau
Cc: Richard Cordray, director, U.S. Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (via press office); Mallory McLean, press assistant, U.S. Consumer Financial Protection Bureau; Moira Vahey, spokesperson, U.S. Consumer Financial Protection Bureau
Subject: RE: Who changed the name of our Consumer Financial Protection Bureau?, checking your credit score

One of your “STEPS TO GET AND KEEP A GOOD CREDIT SCORE” is “GET YOUR FREE CREDIT REPORT EVERY YEAR.”  In it, you state, “Tip: You don’t have to buy your credit score. The information you receive from the agencies is adequate.”

However, the document title of another of your public documents is,“Consumer Advisory: Check your credit score at least once a year.”  You can find that title in the properties of the document by opening it and using Ctrl+D, by performing a right click and choosing Document Properties, or by using File then Properties in the menu of a PDF reader.

Even the internet address of the document (http://files.consumerfinance.gov/f/201207_cfpb_consumer-advisory_check-your-credit-score-every-year.pdf) contains the same message.  But the word score does not even exist in the document content itself.  Despite the file name, document title and internet web address, if you perform a word search for “scor” within the document that is displayed, there are no matches.

On July 16, somebody in your organization wrote, “Read our consumer advisory on checking your credit score at least once a year.”  That message is signed “CFPB Web Team.”  What is the name of the person who is the head of that team?

If your advice is to check our credit scores once a year, then which one should we check?  And, how much does it cost citizens to do so?

And, answer last month’s questions today.  You are falling behind.


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

 

Who renamed the BCFP the CFPB? II

From: Greg Fisher [mailto:greg@creditscoring.com]
Sent: Wednesday, November 28, 2012 2:03 PM
To: Moira Vahey, spokesperson, U.S. Consumer Financial Protection Bureau
Cc: Richard Cordray, director, U.S. Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (via press office); Mallory McLean, press assistant, U.S. Consumer Financial Protection Bureau
Subject: RE: Who changed the name of our Consumer Financial Protection Bureau?, utilization ratio advice

Your website states, “Experts advise keeping your use of credit at no more than 30% or less of your total credit limit.”

You must be citing alleged-credit score experts from the credit card industry.  What experts gave that advice to get and keep a good credit score?  Name at least two.

Here is mine:

  • Fair Isaac, the FICO score company, states, “The more you owe compared to your credit limit, the lower your score will be.”
  • A person who pitches scores for Fair Isaac on its website stated, “The FICO brain trust says there is no specific number that qualifies as a ‘good’ ratio, just that lower is always better.”
  • In describing traits of those who Fair Isaac deems “High Achievers,” the company claims that those people use “an average of 7% of their available revolving credit.”

http://creditscoring.com/creditscore/fico/factors/creditutilizationratioadvice.html#zero

http://www.myfico.com/fico-score-high-achievers-infographic.aspx

And, please answer Monday’s question.  I’m with the media, and I’m on deadline!  The law says that you are to be known as the Bureau of Consumer Financial Protection, and you are doing everything you can to be known as something else.


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