Suze Orman’s schtick

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

Suze Orman, “internationally acclaimed personal finance expert,” is on tour right now, and tonight, she has a spot on Real Time with Bill Maher [submit question].

Despite the fact that employers do not use credit scores (they cannot even get them), Orman keeps saying (and writing) that employers do use credit scares scores.  It must sell.

Tonight, will she use the same talking point, set the record straight, or neither?  Here are examples of the millionaire’s tour schtick.

Hosted by Allowed to bleat on unquestioned for almost four minutes by the media queen, herself, the expert bloviates, “Now, employers will not hire you unless you have a credit report and a good FICO score” (1:24). Orman gets a pass from the interviewer, Arianna Huffington.

In the article associated with the video, the Huffington Post, itself, says the same thing: “It can also affect their ability to rent an apartment and get a job, as many employers now check credit scores as part of the hiring process.”

Where are all the tough questions?  They just wind her up, and let her go.  Interviewed by an actual namesake–the publisher of ForbesWoman–an oddly agitated, seething Orman said, “And because they have a FICO score, a landlord will rent to them, an employer will hire them, their car insurance will be lower (especially if it’s a good FICO score)” (5:11).

She also said, “In my opinion, credit scoring is obsolete” (1:13) while her mug still sits on the FICO credit score website as she hawks credit scores.

Discussing her legacy (“I’m closer to 61, now, than I am 60.”), the prolific author proclaims to all the people, “I want to create a new scoring system.  I hope they call it the S.O. Score” (5:46).

Oh, brother.

And then (speaking of promoting oneself) there’s the SELF thing, itself.  It is easy to see why Orman would gush, “I love SELF Magazine.” The Condé Nast publication edited out the part about employers and scores.  But they left in the bit about “Suze Orman, the smartest woman about money in perhaps the world.”



Suze Orman’s social experiment

This train wreck is almost unbearable to watch.

Suze Orman, “internationally acclaimed personal finance expert,” is hustling her thing called the Approved Card.  But she doesn’t seem to know what kind of card it is.

The fabulous expert showed up in fabulous Manhattan to talk to Lucy Danziger, the fabulous editor of SELF, the fabulous magazine from the fabulous Condé Nast.  Danziger, who describes Orman as “the smartest woman about money in perhaps the world” asked, “Is this a credit card?”

Looking annoyed, Orman replied, “No!  It’s a debit card!”

Moments later, holding up the card for effect, she said, “It is possible that in 18 to 24 months from right here, a debit card will be deemed to generate a FICO score.”

As the chatterboxes signed off, Danziger said, “And, good luck with your credit card!”

Wagging her finger, Orman yelled, “Debit card!” and gave the camera a stupid look.

Danziger yelled back, Oprah-style, “Debit card!”

Orman hollered, Oprah-style, “Actually–my prepaid card!”

The yelling stopped as they realized what a mess they were making, and Danziger said, soberly, “Good luck with your prepaid debit card.”

Orman replied, deadpan, “No, just prepaid card.”


The worst thing about the interview, however, beyond the credit/debit/prepaid knuckleheadedness (or the bad audio– it isn’t your computer), is that the smartest woman about money in perhaps the world repeated this, now preposterous, urban legend:

“Employers are starting not to hire you if you don’t have a good credit report and a good credit score.”

The consumer reporting agencies do not provide credit scores for employment purposes.

Excellent journalist that she is, the editor just said, “Interesting,” swallowed it whole, and let the blowhard continue.

Su–ze — Or–man — just — won’t — shut — up — about it.

And, if you give her any guff, she’ll call you an idiot.

Bring it.


UPDATE 2/3/12

Here’s the new video, with the part about employers using credit scores (since they are not) edited out: