30, 30

From: Greg Fisher [mailto:greg@creditscoring.com]
Sent: Friday, February 08, 2013 4:08 PM
To: John Branham, public relations and social media manager, TransUnion Interactive, TransUnion
Subject: 30, 30

See this message and your response at http://blog.creditscoring.com/?p=4657.

Your press release states, “A history of late payments – even by a few days – can potentially harm your credit score.”

However, according your key, an adverse rating only begins at 30 days.  By “a few days,” do you mean a month?  And, couldn’t just one late payment harm a score?

Also, what is so healthy about keeping balances “at or below 30 percent” of a person’s total available credit?  Did you poll lenders?

Finally, what are you doing about the inaccurate USA Today report?

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


Prediction: USA Today publisher Gannett will make a correction

USA Today publisher Gannett will make a correction to its latest story about credit scores.  You can believe that prediction because it isn’t easy to get around fundamental numbers.

USA Today claims that the VantageScore credit score scale is 501 to 999 when it is actually 501-990.

But, McPaper is in good company. Testifying before the U.S. House of Representatives, VantageScore chief Barrett Burns committed the same error twice, according to the official record.  VantageScore’s account of history is peculiarly different.

Further, Gannett will make a correction because the company has never come to terms with its inaccurate story about employers and credit scores.  The newspaper’s response was to use the pathetic and annoying “Read the story again” strategy.  Its editorial department (fine people, all) is, thankfully, cooperative and much wiser.  Happy Groundhog Day, by the way.

The numbers journalists use to add credibility to their stories are the same ones that can come back to bite them.

credit score, employers, Gannett, USA Today, 2011-06-05

From: Greg Fisher [mailto:greg@creditscoring.com]
Sent: Monday, June 06, 2011 7:48 AM
To: Letters, USA Today
Cc: Robin Pence, VP, corporate communications, Gannett Co., Inc.; Brent Jones, standards editor, USA Today, Gannett
Subject: credit score, employers, Gannett, USA Today, 2011-06-05

See this message and your response at http://blog.creditscoring.com/?p=2125 and http://blog.creditscoring.com/?tag=gannett .

Yesterday, you published, “Credit scores can determine whether you get a mortgage and what the rate is; whether you qualify for a car loan, a credit card, a rental apartment or insurance; and, in recent years, even whether you get a job.”

However, in another story, you reported:  “When employers request information from the credit-reporting agencies, they get a report designed for employers or companies that screen employees. They don’t get the same report provided to lenders. And they don’t get your credit score, the numerical figure lenders use to assess the likelihood you’ll repay a loan, Levin says.”

Further, you also provide a link to a story that states: “In listing the ways that credit scores can be used, I wrote that potential employers look at your credit score to see if you’re under financial stress. Greg Fisher, who runs the website creditscoring.com, called me out on my mistake.”

Who is your source regarding credit score use by employers?

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

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? MyFICO.com says that only .5 – 1 percent of consumers have achieved this golden number.

creditscoring.com 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? MyFICO.com 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.

Employers, credit score, USA TODAY

To: Kathy Chu, USA TODAY
From: “creditscoring.com” <greg@creditscoring.com>
Subject: credit score, employers
Date: 3/21/09


You wrote, “And if scores can drop even if consumers do nothing wrong, they say, it raises the question of whether there’s a flaw in the credit scoring formulas relied upon by the nation’s lenders, insurers, and increasingly employers and landlords.”

Who is your source for the information that, increasingly, employers rely upon credit scoring formulas?

6/18/2009 update:

See “USA Today on employers using credit scores, Part 1 – National newspaper will not identify its source