CNBC draws USA TODAY into the fray

A story on CNBC’s website stated:

But how possible is it really to achieve an 850, and is it worth the effort? says that only .5 – 1 percent of consumers have achieved this golden number. asked CNBC for the name a person who, or the address of a document that, is the source of that statistic.  Rather than naming its source, CNBC replied that a myFICO representative said that 13 percent have a score over 800.  CNBC changed its story so that it said this:

But how possible is it really to achieve a perfect score, and is it worth the effort? reports that only 13% percent[SIC] of consumers have achieved scores over 800.

USA TODAY republished the CNBC article.

However, in July, USA TODAY published an Associated Press report that said:

On the positive side, the number of consumers who have a top score of 800 or above has increased in recent years. At least in part, this reflects that more individuals have cut spending and paid down debt in response to the recession. Their ranks now stand at 17.9%, which is notably above the historical average of 13%, though down from 18.7% in April 2008 before the market meltdown.

In July, Fair Isaac said that it would replace its distribution chart.  It has not done so.

Canada – Pointage de crédit junk journalism from ValueClick

In an item on the Globe and Mail website, an Investopedia article contends, “Credit scores range from 300 to 850.”  However, in Canada the “pointages FICO vont de 300 à 900.”

In the U.S., the FICO credit score scale is 300 to 850.

Investopedia (who is actually based in Canada), a division of ValueClick, provides junk journalism articles to Hearst and Forbes, too.  Martin T. Hart is the chairman of ValueClick according to Forbes.  Whether you choose to believe Forbes about that is entirely up to you.

FHA average FICO score surpasses 700

FHA (the Federal Housing Administration) reports, “For the first time the average FICO score for insured cases reached the 700 level — actually 702.”

But, somebody thinks that’s not necessarily such a great thing.  The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD (FHA is part of HUD)) has just opened investigations resulting from complaints filed by the National Community Reinvestment Coalition (NCRC).  NCRC states that its investigation “reveals that too many of the country’s largest financial institutions are refusing to lend under the FHA loan program to consumers with credit scores between 580 and 640, despite the fact that FHA policy establishes a 100% guarantee for refinance.”

However, lenders are judged by their default and claim rates, and their underwriting authority can be termintated if those rates are too high.

Also, see:  Average credit score chart, FHA loans.

Federal Reserve and Credit Karma statistics

On August 6, the Federal Reserve said, “Revolving credit decreased at an annual rate of 9-1/2 percent, and nonrevolving credit was about unchanged.”

On August 11, Credit Karma reported, “Nationally, credit card debt amongst consumers with a credit card decreased by one percent since June 2010. However, credit card debt is up nearly 14 percent since July 2009.”

“Consumers have charged more on their credit cards and as a result, credit scores are lower,” [Credit Karma CEO Ken] Lin said. – San Francisco Business Times

Average FICO credit score missing

Just when Wikipedia gets its act together, the average FICO credit score goes missing.

In the first story of Two and Two (a new section on, questions are posed to FICO.  The median, the mean, the CEO, and an absent Experian all play their parts.

Things just don’t add up.  How is America supposed to know where it stands?  Is the average going up, or down?  What’s the big secret?

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.