848 credit score disclosure

Here is a message from a reporter for the Cleveland Plain Dealer who claims that the newspaper’s story about a person with an 848 credit score is accurate.  However, based on the message, the story appears to be inaccurate.

Twitter message:  848 credit score disclosure was from Bank of America

What you won't see on Twitter

The article states that a credit score disclosure–with nonsense about a person’s 848 credit score being higher than itself–was provided by a credit bureau.  But, the message above indicates that the disclosure came from a credit card issuer.


Zombie myths

In April, using his News Corporation Fox Business thingy, Rupert Murdoch 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.”

Fox Business website before correction

Fox Business website before correction

That is nonsense, of course, and somebody changed the Fox story.  The new sentence, substituting reports for scores, is “According to the Society for Human Resource Management, 60% of employers check  applicants’ credit reports for at least some of their job candidates as part of their hiring process.”

[Rookie reporters and journalism students: Don’t be afraid to check original sources (Wouldn’t that be novel?).]

But, there is no acknowledgement on that story’s page (whose title uses a question mark) by Murdoch of the error and its correction.  That is not to say, however, that he always acts in such a clandestine manner.  Within another property in his empire, there was clear acknowledgement of the same error.

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The Question Mark
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Unfortunately, due to the syndicated error phenomena, the zombie myth lives.

It also lives in a certain Louisiana State University study, on a United States federal government server, no less, for U.S. citizens to read (and become misinformed).  The National Institutes of Health website states, “Many organizations use credit scores as an employment screening tool, but little is known about the legitimacy of such practices.”

And, here we go, again:

From: Greg Fisher [mailto:greg@pagea2.com]
Sent: Tuesday, November 13, 2012 8:35 AM
To: Rupert Murdoch, chairman and CEO, News Corporation (via Julie Henderson)
Cc: Tim Sullivan, writer, translator, yoga teacher and massage therapist, Money Blue Book
Subject: name your source; coining a term: CUR (credit-utilization ratio)

You published

When you close an account, especially a larger account, your credit-utilization ratio (CUR) will be affected and your score could go down. In addition, if the card you’re closing was the first credit card you ever got, it could shorten the length of your credit history, which can also hurt your score… Closing too many cards at once can cause your credit score to drop sharply from a snowball effect of the reasons mentioned above.

Who is your source regarding closing an account shortening a credit history?  Fair Isaac calls that a myth.

Also, where did you get the idea to use the initials CUR to refer to the so-called credit utilization ratio?  Why don’t you call it PBCL (proportion of balances to credit limits)?

Greg Fisher
Page A2
PO Box 342
Dayton, Ohio  45409-0342

Presto change-o! – NPR corrections

NPR corrected (see May 8) the error of a guest in one story, but merely changed the headline and online page copy of another.  Presto change-o!  It’s like magic.

From: Greg Fisher [mailto:greg@pagea2.com]
Sent: Wednesday, May 23, 2012 8:04 AM
To: Gary Knell, president and CEO, NPR
Cc: Michel Martin, host, Tell Me More, NPR; Edward Schumacher-Matos, ombudsman, NPR; Edward Schumacher-Matos, ombudsman, NPR; Ombudsman, NPR; NPR Corrections; Portia Robertson Migas, supervising senior editor, NPR; Alicia Montgomery, senior editor, Tell Me More, NPR
Subject: RE: credit score, employers, NPR, and poof! It disappeared

You changed the 2009 headline from “Low Credit Scores Affect Job Applicants” to “Bad Credit Reports Affect Job Applicants.”

Someone commenting wrote, “Using credit scores as part of Job Selection[SIC] is Wrong, Wrong, Wrong[SIC].”

Sorting the comments by the most recommend puts the catch-22 meme at the top: “Of course one reason to have a low credit score is unemployment or simply being a recent college graduate. It’s a bit of a catch-22.”

The NPR Ethics Handbook states: “We have a simple standard: Errors of fact do not stand uncorrected. If we get it wrong, we’ll admit it.”

Where do you admit it?

[previous correspondence]