Jean Chatzky’s dilemma

Employers do not use credit scores.  Can’t even get ’em.

The second tab after “Home/Blog” on is “Score Builder.”  The landing page says, “Better credit in 120 days, powered by Smart Credit.”

On as she explained the number that she thinks “is widely considered to be a measure of how responsble a human being you are,” Jean Chatzky said, “You may even have an easier time getting a job as many employers these days are checking out credit scores because they want to hire responsible employees.”

Then she plugs and CreditKarma.

[Wonks: She also gives the score scale as 350-850, but let’s not quibble over that– boring.]

Meanwhile, over at NBC, (where it counts, apparently), Chatzky finally comes to terms with her misinformation.  In a segment for NBC’s Today, she said (finally):

It’s a really good question, and we did get a lot of response to that thought that employers are checking credit histories.  About 16% of them actually are.  What they’re not seeing is your credit score.  They’re seeing your credit report.


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Inexplicably, however, her blog post (“Posted by Jean”) about that appearance states, “On Today’s Money 911 we talked about what employers that check credit scores are looking for and gave tips for finding a job over 60.”

Previously, as Matt Lauer did the deed (as many do in their introductions to the topic) Chatzky remained silent. (2:09)

Poor Oprah (dot com).

Oprah was unavailable (but the train station never looked better).

So, what happens, now?

Talk back to your screen

From: Greg Fisher []
Sent: Thursday, April 12, 2012 12:28 PM
To: Brian L. Roberts, chairman and CEO, Comcast Corporation (via Adam Miller, EVP, Corporate Affairs, NBCUniversal, Comcast)
Cc: Allen Wastler, managing editor,; Daniel Bukszpan, staff writer,, Comcast; Daniel Bukszpan, staff writer,, Comcast (2); Jennifer Dauble, director, public relations, CNBC; Bernard T. Gugar, Harpo Productions; Steve J. Bernas, president/CEO, Better Business Bureau of Chicago and Northern Illinois, Inc.;; (2)
Subject: RE: US national average credit score, “States with the best credit scores” II

Do you mean to tell me that you actually believe that the national average credit score could have decreased by 22 points in 11 days?

No way.  Really?

Chicago Union Station, TO ALL TRAINS
Chicago Union Station, TO ALL TRAINS

On a recent whistle stop trip to New York (via Chicago), I was able to make a small dent in the misinformation about credit scores.  However, these things have a life of their own, and I am not sure that Oprah Winfrey got my message (sent directly to her lawyer, however!).  The inaccuracy on her website still exists.  She even published this: “That history is digested by a company called Fair Isaac and converted into your credit score, which ranges from 350 to 800.”

Ha, ha!

That’s not true, of course, and it’s an old story.  But, even the New York Times fell for Experian’s campaign, so don’t feel bad.  Like the Times (until enlightened), you’re just in a Funk.

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

[prevous message]

Contacting Oprah Winfrey, personal finance

The questions are all the same. Answers vary.

From: Greg Fisher []
Sent: Tuesday, March 27, 2012 10:11 AM
To: Oprah Winfrey, Harpo Productions (via Bernard Gugar)
Subject: credit score, employers, Oprah Winfrey

See this message and your reply at and

Your website states:

Last year, 25 billion credit decisions were made based on FICO scores alone. These weren’t just decisions about whether you’d be approved for a new credit card but… Whether an employer will hire you… In other words, your score is a really powerful piece of information.

I visited your office earlier this month, but was unable to see anyone about that statement.

Despite unfortunate conflicting information, employers do not use credit scores.

What indicates that employers base hiring decisions on credit scores?

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