Myth: Employers use credit scores (video) – National Financial Literacy Month

National Financial Literacy Month – Video illustrates myth that employers use credit scores video shows media, experts, central bank and legislators furthering the myth that employers use credit scores in hiring decisions.

Myth: Employers use credit scores
Myth video: Employers use credit scores

Trail of a rumor: Credit scores, employers and media

Consumer reporting agencies TransUnion, Equifax and Experian all state that they do not provide credit scores for employment purposes.   Author and writer John Ulzheimer calls the notion that employers use credit scores the myth of the decadeLester Rosen, president of Employment Screening Resources (ESR) and a qualified employment screening expert calls it an urban myth.

Here’s how the rumor spreads.  This is seedy, so wear your boots.

Today, the headline “Government and Private Employers Check Credit Scores” appears on a popular news search website.  The headline comes from, a domain created only two months ago.  ‎The January 12 story begins with this paragraph:  “More and more employers especially in the government sector… finding a new job, because their credit score is low.”

Those are the same, exact 93 words, found on in a story dated January 9. has not responded.

The following is unrelated to employers and credit scores, but is too intriguing to pass up.  The story continues in the second paragraph: “On account that credit is a nebulous number… free annual credit reports I could keep up.”

So, there are 92 more words that are exactly the same as another press release on another website.

Next paragraph:  “However, cards with a flexible spending limit, while convenient, can present…  preferably under 30 percent and ideally at 10 percent to 20 percent.”

That’s a new twist.  85 of the words in that paragraph are exactly the same as an 87-word paragraph in a December 27 story on  But whoever is doing the deed at changed the last two words.  They actually did some real work— such as it is.

Next paragraph: “That rankles a lot of people, but what really annoys … will use when you apply for a loan.”

Ouch.  The big Kahuna.  Gannett’s USA TODAY was the victim this time; 81 words. 

Finally:  “The Equifax website has a lot of information about not only free, but discounted… prices vary but all are less than the $10.50 the bureau normally charges for a single report.)”

75 words.  Victim:  AOL.

Dave Ramsey on employers and credit scores

The three national consumer reporting agencies all state that they do not provide credit scores for employment screening.

From: Greg Fisher
Sent: Tuesday, November 23, 2010 6:46 PM
To: Dave Ramsey
Subject: FW: credit score, employers, Dave Ramsey, Dave Says

You wrote, “I wouldn’t want to work for a company that puts more emphasis on my FICO score than on me as a person… there are so many ways to make a living in this world that there’s no reason to put up with being reduced to a number like that.”

Who is your source regarding credit score use by employers?

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


From: Greg Fisher 
Sent: Sunday, November 28, 2010 12:04 AM
To: Dave Ramsey; Dave Ramsey
Subject: RE: credit score, employers, Dave Ramsey, Dave Says II

Please reply.


From: Greg Fisher
Sent: Monday, November 29, 2010 10:22 PM
To: Dave Ramsey; Dave Ramsey; Dave Ramsey
Subject: RE: credit score, employers, Dave Ramsey, Dave Says III

Please reply.



Experian – Contradictory statements about credit scores and employers

Experian states, “More employers than ever are checking the credit scores of potential applicants, and that could create a vicious cycle, according to a report from the Minneapolis Examiner.”

The title and headline accompanying the statement is “More Employers Check Applicants’ Credit Scores.”

However, Experian claims that it does not provide credit scores for employment purposes.

Influence: Equifax botches credit score distribution

On the heels of this week’s other fun with Equifax (“INFORM > ENRICH > EMPOWER“), top consumer finance expert” and Equifax blogger Ilyce Glink cross-promotes another of her myriad projects by linking to a video featuring some muckety-muck identified as an Equifax executive.  And it is a hoot.

On CBS, Glink writes:  “According to FICO’s credit blog, about 18 percent of the population has a FICO credit score between 800 to 850, but the highest credit score I’ve heard of is 830 (feel free to post yours below). A little over 25 percent of the population has a credit score below 600.” [an aside: See’s “Two and Two: Credit scores fall, AP, Part II”]

However, there is a kink as her hijinx sinks with a link that slinks into a rinky-dink Think Glink video. ;) The executive, some dude named Steve, identified as “President, Equifax Personal Information Solutions” states, “I think less than one percent of the population has more than 800.”  Turn on the camera and watch him go (away).

It is more than a flub:  The startling misinformation is accompanied by the actual words, on-screen, in writing, in your face:  “Less than 1% have 800 or higher.”

Get more Equi-Facts with Steveorino here on the Wild, Wild Web.  And, don’t miss one of the most hilarious moments in live radio.

Equifax expert writes about employers’ inquiries

From: Greg Fisher []
Sent: Friday, October 01, 2010 1:54 PM
To: Robin Holland, senior vice president, Global Consumer Services, Equifax; Robin Holland, expert, Equifax
Subject: Equifax expert writes about employers’ inquiries

You wrote:

Hard Inquiry: Any request for a copy of your credit file is an inquiry, but a hard inquiry is the only one that can affect your credit score. A hard inquiry is one in which a bank, a landlord, an employer or a potential employer, a mortgage broker, or another creditor or lender accesses your credit file because of a transaction you have initiated.

However, another person writing on your website writes:

Inquiries that do not affect your credit rating include requests from employers, requests from companies making promotional offers, and your own requests to check your credit. These inquiries are viewable only by you.

Which one of you, really, is an expert?

CBS furthers employers & scores thing in myths segment

Things always happen in threes.

The three national consumer reporting agencies all state that they do not provide credit scores for employment screening.  And today, completing a 2010 sweep of the big three networks morning coffee klatches, CBS aired this:  “That score is the number one thing merchants look at, you know, employers look at.”

In the print version of the story, CBS business and economics correspondent Rebecca Jarvis has the chance to be more eloquent and to make the point clear, saying, “From your prospective employers to your prospective landlords, most companies will check your credit score in order to gauge their risk.”

Fate is cruel. Cross-promotiong like a good employee, on the air, the correspondent refers to MoneyWatch, a CBS web site. But a MoneyWatch article states the opposite of the information in yesterday’s broadcast. It says: “So for those of you who believe, suspect or insist that a bad credit score will cost you a job, take comfort: That simply is not true.”

Watch “The Early Show” host Harry Smith take it in while Jarvis does the deed:

And with that, The Tiffany Network earned a place in history, and in the next exciting video

The hilarious part:  The segment is titled, “Biggest Credit Card Myths Debunked.”

Enough to be Dangerous:

Recently, Experian (“the leading global information services company”*) announced that it and “will co-host a live, interactive, online town-hall discussion of credit reporting and scoring.” made the same announcement, replete with countdown clock to the exciting event.

Experian’s newfound public outreach/reach-out for goodwill follows the drubbing it took at the hands of Congress and the FTC regarding the debacle.  Among other adventures, Chairman John Peace and Experian have traveled the the viral video route recently.  There’s a fab, telegenic, “STYLISH, SMART, & SASSY” (click “HOSTING REEL” for a demo if you’re interested), newly-minted credit history expert and a bevy of B-list stars.  It’s all packaged up with cutesy, sprightly and playful plucking strings to indicate when it is time to laugh (and you will need it), similar to scenes on Wisteria Lane and at Seattle Grace.

If you think that you can manage all that (and would want to), Experian is still looking for you. knows Enough to be Dangerous.  They would have you believe that credit score factors include “employment, income” (FICO scores do not consider income and employment), and even “debt to income ratio.”  And, speaking of experts and employment, the consumer reporting agencies do not provide credit scores for employment purposes.  But today, while a battle rages in statehouses from coast-to-coast, one of the’s “experts” wrote that employers use credit scores.  It wouldn’t be the first time that that happened.  And, they are in good company.

Take what these two tell you with a grain of salt.  And if you participate in their forum, be sure to ask about your AWOL Experian FICO score, and what they are talking about with the line:  “Credit scoring helps potential lenders, landlords, and employers quickly gauge an applicant’s credit history.”



*as opposed to Equifax, “A global leader in information solutions” (and, indeed, “Leading with Integrity“), or TransUnion, “a global leader in credit and information management.”

Good Morning America says credit score key to job

Last week on ABC’s “Good Morning America,” host George Stephanopoulos introduced a segment by saying, “You know, your credit score is the key to getting a credit card, a mortgage– even a good job.”  The accompanying web page says, “Credit scores can affect many aspects of your life, your ability to get a credit card, a mortgage and even a job.”

The interviewee, Mellody Hobson (who ABC calls an expert and Guru), did not disagree.  Previously, Hobson said that the average credit score is 676 when the median FICO score was known to be 723 (click on “yuk it up“).

Meanwhile, the consumer reporting agencies all state that they do not provide credit scores (wacky video) for employment, an actual verifiable fact that ABC failed to report.

Laura Zaccaro, whose name appears as the co-author of the web page said that her sources include Tory Johnson and FICO.  In 2008 FICO referred to “anecdotal information gleaned from public sources such as published articles.”

Last month, the Federal Reserve told Congress that employers use credit scores.

Credit dude on hiring and credit scores, Des Moines Register

To:  Matt
From:  Greg Fisher,
Date:  April 29, 2010
Subject:  credit score, employers, Des Moines Register

You said: “Know your credit score. Many employers today take your credit score into consideration when determining if you are the right person for the job.”  However, the consumer reporting agencies do not provide credit scores for employment screening.

You are at the top of the news searches this morning.  The story about people saying employers use credit scores is getting boring.  But, identifying who provided that information:  Now that’s interesting.

Who is your source regarding credit score use by employers?