Credit score inquiries, ”less than five points” Wall Street Journal takes fewer words to describe effect of inquiries than even FICO score company Fair Isaac

TO: Annamaria Andriotis
CC: Jennifer Openshaw, Maria Lamagna, Brian Kelly, Elisabeth Hershman, Fair Isaac, Elizabeth Warren, Oscar Suris
FROM: Greg Fisher
DATE: Wed, Sep 21, 2016 at 2:22 PM
SUBJECT: false information, Murdoch, Wall Street Journal, credit score, inquiries, 1,497 #1609aa

I am with the media, I am on a deadline, and I am writing about you, Follower. See this message and your response on the Credit Score Blog.

I know what I don’t know about credit scoring. You wrote, “One credit inquiry will remove less than five points off people’s FICO scores, according to FICO.”

So, you expressed the situation with inquiries in only 13 words. When and where did Fair Isaac (“FICO”) say that, and what is the name of the person who said it?

On different pages, the organization published these sentences

For most people, one additional credit inquiry will take less than five points off their FICO Scores. (17 words)

In general, inquiries have a small impact; typically, a single inquiry can lower a FICO Score by less than five points. (21 words)

For others, one additional inquiry would take less than 5 points off their FICO score. (15 words)

I daresay your explanation is oversimplified. The idea appears to be a talking point– the party line. The same statement, word-for-word, of one above: “For most people, one additional credit inquiry will take less than five points off their FICO Scores.”

Is it possible for an inquiry to lower a FICO score 5 points or more? Perhaps Fair Isaac (who is copied on this message) will provide more information about its secret. The greatest credit scoring expert in the world still works there. If he doesn’t have the answer, nobody does.

Another inquiry enquiry

One guy (he, literally, calls himself the Points Guy) has said “two to five points” so many times that he actually believes himself. Brian Kelly was the subject on another Dow Jones/News Corporation website a couple of days ago. Your colleague writes, “Kelly says that if you’re not getting more value than the annual fee, but you don’t want to cancel the card and lose the years of experience you have with it, which can negatively impact your credit score, you can see if there’s a no-fee card you can switch to with the same issuer.”

HOKEY SMOKE! See Credit Score Myth 8.

And while that guy has a lot of plastic, you need to pay attention to another corker: “The Man with 1,497 Credit Cards”! Try to get me an answer. The poor dude can’t comment on the viral story about him– because he is not even alive! I looked into it. I checked public records in California. #1601T

The Real BIG Credit Score has dozens of factors

Your item also states, “FICO scores are comprised of five factors.”

That is not true. Your statement is Credit Score Myth 5. Who told you that? #myth5

And, nobody is getting a mortgage loan with a credit score of 850. Who is your source?

By the way, isn’t the title of that one, “How to Perfect Your Credit Score,” pushing it a little? Who wrote that headline? #TheHed

Also, tell your supervisor to send a message up your chain of command that I want my comments to a 2008 article restored. I do not participate in such discussions for my health and I am not putting up with Rupert Murdoch’s silly nonsense. Furthermore, the article that was attached to my comments is false. Employers do not use credit scores. I looked into it.

There are three comments on your story’s page. Are you going to delete them, too?

I could go on and I think I will. Another article is still false. In its source code is this

meta name=”article.summary” content=”Many employers are checking job candidates’ credit scores, but how big of a factor are credit scores in a company’s eventual decision to hire?”

By now, 8 years after I documented one very bizarre phenomenon, people giggle when they see that error. That it continues (on new and old documents) is truly pathetic. I’m having a big party for the 10th anniversary in April, 2018.

What is your supervisor’s name? I want it to make sure that my messages are getting through to the top person of your organization.

Now, let’s not leave the guest of honor out of the conversation. Wells Fargo states, definitively, that a credit score is also known as a “credit rating.”

That is debatable, but here’s the fun part: John Stumpf, the top person of Wells Fargo also states, “Employers often check the credit rating of prospective employees.” #myth2

Hashtag: Myth 2.

FUN FACT: Did you know that Wells Fargo has bank charter No. 1?

Veracity check

Finally, here is today’s truth test of your organization. In an opinion item titled “Democrats’ Zika Obstruction” dated July, the Wall Street Journal states, “Majority Leader Harry Reid recently claimed the bill ‘exempts pesticide spraying from the Clean Water Act.'”

That is false. U.S. Senator Reid is the minority leader, not the majority leader (largely due to his party not being in the majority).

Tell your supervisor about that error of the history of my country written by an unnamed person. I will not stand for it. I demand that your organization correct that error today.

I trust you, Ms. Andriotis, but your company is in no position to decide when this pathetic story of truth and falsity ends. Rupert Murdoch, the top person of your organization, is incompetent, foolish, irresponsible and does not know his place.

What is your correction policy?


Greg Fisher
Truth and Falsity
truthandfalsity.com
The Credit Scoring Site
creditscoring.com
PO Box 342
Dayton, Ohio 45409-0342
mobile/text 937-681-3224

Not almost 30 percent

“Keeping revolving credit low can have a positive impact on an individual’s credit score, since this accounts for almost 30 percent of a typical score.”  – A Fair Isaac press release, December, 2012

Let’s say we have 100 loaves of bread. There are two categories: Baked, and not yet baked (still dough).

There are 30 loaves in the baked category, and there are 6 types of loaves within that 30:

1   white
1   wheat
1   sourdough
1   French
25  rye
1   multigrain
------------
30  TOTAL

If we add the 70 loaves that are not yet baked, the total is 100.

1   white
1   wheat
1   sourdough
1   French
25  rye
1   multigrain
70  not yet baked
----------
100 TOTAL

Is it honest to say that almost 30 percent of the loaves are rye?

FICO score Credit utilization, Wall Street Journal, 2012-12-01

From: Greg Fisher [mailto:greg@creditscoring.com]
Sent: Sunday, December 02, 2012 11:29 AM
To: Rupert Murdoch, chairman and CEO, News Corporation (via Julie Henderson)
Cc: Karen Blumenthal, columnist, Getting Going, Wall Street Journal, News Corporation; Karen Blumenthal (2)
Subject: credit score, Credit utilization, Wall Street Journal, 2012-12-01

You published:

Apart from what you actually owe, it especially helps to have unused credit available. “Credit utilization“—how much of your credit you actually use—accounts for 30% of the credit-score calculation. While the rule of thumb is to keep your credit use to no more than a third of your available credit, FICO high achievers use, on average, a skimpy 7% of the credit available to them.

However, according to Fair Isaac, 30% is a number referring to the importance of a category in calculating a FICO score called “Amounts Owed,” not “Credit utilization.”  And, Amounts owed is driven by half a dozen factors, not just utilization.  Fair Isaac explains that one of the items in the category is, indeed, “How much of the total credit line is being used and other ‘revolving’ credit accounts,” but it is only one of 6 items in that segment, and, in fact, is listed fifth.

One of the other items (one that you failed to mention) is “The amount owed on different types of accounts.”  That introduces the idea of scoring based on specific types of loans—credit cards and installment accounts, for example.  Another is, merely, “How many accounts have balances,” which has nothing to do with how much credit is actually used.

In 2009, a Fair Isaac spokesman told me: “When my company explains FICO scoring to a general audience, we apply general weights to major data categories such as, ‘Amounts Owed is 30 percent of a typical consumer’s score.’ We don’t break that weighting into finer parts for individual factors, both to avoid unintentionally misleading the public and to protect the model’s proprietary information. “

But if all of that is not overt enough for you, try this.  Using the same words (apparently finally giving in, using the same, popular, over-simplifying street term) you use, Fair Isaac mentions this about the 30% category:  “Credit utilization, one of the factors evaluated in this category, considers the amount you owe compared to how much credit you have available.”

So, now we finally know—in words straight from the horse’s mouth—that “Credit utilization” (despite wacky Wikipedia‘s inaccurate information) does not account for 30 percent of the score calculation; it is only one of the factors in the 30% category (and we have only a vague idea of its weight).  What is not clear about that?  You used quotation marks around the term credit utilization.  Who are you quoting?

And, whose rule of thumb is it to use no more than a third of available credit?  Is there some plateau at 33 percent?  Are there only diminishing returns below that?

The state of the fourth estate is pathetic, so I created a website to deal with your industry’s poor attitude regarding accuracy.  Corrections are published on Page A2.

Finally, what are you doing about my comments that you removed?


Greg Fisher
The Credit Scoring Site
creditscoring.com
Page A2
pagea2.com
PO Box 342
Dayton, Ohio  45409-0342

[UPDATE, 2012-12-03 5:30 PM EST: Continued on Page A2]

Credit score misinformation repeated over and over

From: Greg Fisher [mailto:greg@creditscoring.com]
Sent: Monday, April 23, 2012 4:48 PM
To: Rupert Murdoch, chairman and CEO, News Corporation (via Julie Henderson)
Cc: Dr. Woody; Dr. Woody (via Tom Estley)
Subject: credit score, employers, Fox Business, Dr. Woody

You published, “According to the Society for Human Resource Management, 60% of employers check applicants’ credit scores for at least some of their job candidates as part of their hiring process.”

However, SHRM, itself, states, “A credit score is a number that gives a snapshot of a period of time; employers do not see this information.”

And, even you published, “Contrary to popular belief, employers can only see your credit report, not your credit score.”

We’ve been over this, Mr. Murdoch, but you keep publishing the same error.  What are you doing to keep from misinforming the public again and what are you doing to clean up your mess on Yahoo!?


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

 

From: Greg Fisher [mailto:greg@creditscoring.com]
Sent: Friday, November 11, 2011 11:36 AM
To: Brian L. Roberts, chairman and CEO, Comcast Corporation (via Rudnay address); Linda Carroll, The Body Odd, msnbc.com, Comcast
Cc: Jeremy Berneth, assistant professor, Robert H. & Patricia Hines Professorship in Management, Rucks Department of Management, E. J. Ourso College of Business, Louisiana State University; Shannon G. Taylor, assistant proessor, management, Northern Illinois University; Jack Walker, assistant professor, Rawls College of Business, Texas Tech; Daniel S. Whitman, assistant professor, Rucks Department of Management, Louisiana State University; Ashley Berthelot, Media Releations, Louisiana State University; Michael Kesterton, columnist, The Globe and Mail, Thomson; Globe and Mail corrections, Thomson; John V. Lombardi, president, Louisiana State University; Melba J. T. Vasquez, PhD, president, American Psychological Association
Subject: RE: credit score, employers, LSU, mainstream, Comcast NBC

You published, “Employers who use credit scores in their hiring decisions  might be weeding out some of the best applicants, a new study… [EMAIL ATTACHMENT]

Wall Street Journal accuracy, errors and corrections


When a member of the UK parliament asked News Corporation chairman Rupert Murdoch if he was ultimately responsible for a fiasco, Murdoch replied, “Nope.” (37:36)


(Source – BBC News / bbc.co.uk – © 2011-2012 BBC)

[alternate video (43:11)]

After contact with creditscoring.com, Murdoch made corrections of documents on two of his websites.

However, a syndication of the same article by Yahoo! remains uncorrected.

credit score, employers, Wall Street Journal

From: Greg Fisher [mailto:greg@creditscoring.com]
Sent: Sunday, May 22, 2011 4:33 PM
To: Emily Glazer, reporter, Wall Street Journal
Subject: credit score, employers, Wall Street Journal

See this message and your response at http://blog.creditscoring.com/?p=2114.  

You wrote, “A credit score also is used when you apply for an apartment lease and even for some jobs.”

Who is your source regarding credit score use by employers?


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


UPDATE, 2011-06-22

From: Greg Fisher [mailto:greg@creditscoring.com] 
Sent: Tuesday, May 24, 2011 12:57 PM
To: Glazer, Emily
Cc: Everett, Teri M. ( NewsCorp )
Subject: RE: credit score, employers, Wall Street Journal

Please reply.


From: Glazer, Emily 
Sent: Tuesday, May 24, 2011 5:52 PM
To: ‘greg@creditscoring.com
Cc: Everett, Teri M. ( NewsCorp )
Subject: RE: credit score, employers, Wall Street Journal

Hi Greg,

Thanks for reading the article and reaching out. I apologize for my delayed reply – I went through my inbox and I never received your original email.

A number of sources, including Alexa von Tobel from personal-finance website LearnVest.com, had mentioned that some employers check your credit score. This is most prevalent with various background searches during job interviews as a low score could put you at a hiring disadvantage.

Cheers,
Emily


From: Greg Fisher [mailto:greg@creditscoring.com] 
Sent: Thursday, June 02, 2011 12:29 AM
To: Glazer, Emily
Subject: RE: credit score, employers, Wall Street Journal, LearnVest

LearnVest.com states, “While employers cannot access credit scores, they are given a history of missed bill payments, debts, and bankruptcies.”

How did you obtain the information you attribute to Ms. von Tobel?


From: Glazer, Emily 
Sent: Thursday, June 02, 2011 10:15 AM
To: ‘greg@creditscoring.com
Subject: RE: credit score, employers, Wall Street Journal, LearnVest

Hi Greg,

The information was obtained through a phone interview. We wrote “and even for some jobs” because it depends on the company.

Thank you,
Emily


From: Greg Fisher [mailto:greg@creditscoring.com] 
Sent: Thursday, June 02, 2011 11:21 AM
To: Alexa von Tobel, CEO & founder, LearnVest
Cc: Emily Glazer, reporter, Wall Street Journal
Subject: FW: credit score, employers, Wall Street Journal, LearnVest

What indicates that employers use credit scores?


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


On Jun 3, 2011, at 11:54 AM, Greg Fisher wrote:

Please reply.


From: Maria Lin
Sent: Monday, June 06, 2011 10:19 AM
To: greg@creditscoring.com
Cc: Alexa von Tobel, CEO & founder, LearnVest; Ann Kaplan, chair of the board, LearnVest; Emily Glazer, reporter, Wall Street Journal
Subject:Re: credit score, employers, Wall Street Journal, LearnVest II

Hello Greg:

According to one source, the Society for Human Resource Management, 43% of their companies ran credit checks on some or all potential hires according to a poll they conducted a few years ago.

Links to a few of their reports are below.

http://www.shrm.org/Research/SurveyFindings/Articles/Pages/Backroundcheckingcomparative.aspx

http://www.shrm.org/Research/SurveyFindings/Articles/Pages/BackgroundCheckingImplications.aspx

Please feel free to reach out to them directly to confirm the answers to your questions.

Best regards,

Maria


Maria Lin
Editor in Chief
Learnvest, Inc.
740 Broadway, Suite 1002
New York, NY 10012
xxx.xxx.xxxx (office)
xxx.xxx.xxxx (cell)
xxx.xxx.xxxx (fax)


From: Greg Fisher [mailto:greg@creditscoring.com]
Sent: Monday, June 06, 2011 12:25 PM
To: Glazer, Emily
Cc: Alexa von Tobel, CEO & founder, LearnVest; Ann Kaplan, chair of the board, LearnVest; Maria Lin, editor in chief, Learnvest, Inc.
Subject:RE: credit score, employers, Wall Street Journal, LearnVest II

SHRM told me that its survey does not address credit scores.

What correction will you make?

From: Hughes, Jennifer 
Sent: Thursday, April 09, 2009 5:04 PM
To: creditscoring.com
Subject: RE: credit score, employers III

Hi Greg,

Neither survey discusses credit scores, only credit checks.

Sorry!

Thanks,
Jenny

Jennifer Hughes
Media Affairs Specialist
Society for Human Resource Management
1800 Duke Street
Alexandria, VA 22314-3499
Phone: xxx-xxx-xxxx

E-mail: xxxx@xxxx.xxx
www.shrm.org

 HR Leadership for the New Economy.  Only at the SHRM Annual Conference & Exposition.
June 28 – July 1, 2009 | New Orleans, La.
Find out more at www.shrm.org/conferences/annual.
—————————————-

From: creditscoring.com [mailto:greg@creditscoring.com]
Sent: Thursday, April 09, 2009 4:45 PM
To: Hughes, Jennifer
Subject: RE: credit score, employers III

Thank you.

What are the survey results regarding credit scores (a single number calculated from a person’s credit history), specifically?

Do any of the survey questions use the term “credit score”?
—————————————-

At 11:31 AM 4/9/2009, Hughes, Jennifer wrote:

Hi Greg,

According to SHRM’s 2006 Weapons in the Workplace Survey, 42% of surveyed employers run credit checks on potential employees as part of routine background checks. In SHRM’s 2004 Reference and Background Checking Survey, 19% of surveyed employers said they always used credit checks as a type of information in a background check, 24% sometimes used credit checks, and 18% rarely used credit checks.

If you have any other questions, let me know.

Thanks,
Jenny

Jennifer Hughes
Media Affairs Specialist
Society for Human Resource Management
1800 Duke Street
Alexandria, VA 22314-3499
Phone: xxx-xxx-xxxx
E-mail: xxxx@xxxx.xxx
www.shrm.org
 
HR Leadership for the New Economy.  Only at the SHRM Annual Conference & Exposition.
June 28 – July 1, 2009 | New Orleans, La.
Find out more at www.shrm.org/conferences/annual.
—————————————-

From: creditscoring.com [ mailto:greg@creditscoring.com]
Sent: Thursday, April 09, 2009 10:39 AM
To: Malveaux, Julie; Harris, Jeanene; Hughes, Jennifer
Subject: RE: credit score, employers III
 
Do you claim that employers use credit scores?


From: Glazer, Emily
Sent: Monday, June 06, 2011 12:54 PM
To: ‘greg@creditscoring.com’
Subject:RE: credit score, employers, Wall Street Journal, LearnVest II

Thanks for pointing this out, Greg. I’m going to talk with my editor and will get back to you.

Cheers,
Emily


From: Alexa von Tobel
Sent: Friday, June 03, 2011 8:42 PM
To: greg@creditscoring.com
Subject:Re: credit score, employers, Wall Street Journal, LearnVest II

Greg, I am currently traveling out of the country for work, but happy to get back to you as soon as I have better access to email. Hope you are having a great weekend!
-Alexa


From: Greg Fisher [mailto:greg@creditscoring.com]
Sent: Friday, June 10, 2011 12:51 PM
To: Alexa von Tobel, CEO & founder, LearnVest
Cc: Ann Kaplan, chair of the board, LearnVest; Maria Lin, editor in chief, Learnvest, Inc.; Emily Glazer, reporter, Wall Street Journal
Subject:RE: credit score, employers, Wall Street Journal, LearnVest II

When do you return?

Employers, credit score, Wall Street Journal II

See http://www.usnews.com/blogs/alpha-consumer/2009/2/26/why-credit-scores-matter-on-job-applications.html.

Date: Wed, 25 Mar 2009 12:14:49 -0400
To: Mary Pilon, Wall Street Journal
From: “creditscoring.com” <greg@creditscoring.com>
Subject: credit score, employer

See http://blog.creditscoring.com/?p=344.

This appears in a browser’s title bar for this story: “One in Six Employers Look at Your Credit Score – The Wallet – WSJ”

The description of the page that appears (in addition to the title, above) in search engine results is defined by this, found in the page code:

meta name=”description” content=”Many employers are checking job candidates’ credit scores, but how big of a factor are credit scores in a company’s eventual decision to hire?”

Recently, TransUnion claimed that they made an error in their survey: “The word ‘score’ was inadvertently used and the results based on that phrasing were communicated to you… TransUnion does not provide a credit score for employment screening purposes.”

Did you get that message from TransUnion? Will you make a correction?

Employers, credit score, Wall Street Journal

This appears as the #1 result in a search engine for the term credit score employers:

One in Six Employers Look at Your Credit Score – The Wallet – WSJ
Mar 11, 2009 Many employers are checking job candidates’ credit scores, but how big of a factor are credit scores in a company’s eventual decision to

See the comment on the story’s page asking for a correction.