Credit score viral rumor published by Tribune furthered by credit score company, itself

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From: Greg Fisher [mailto:greg@pagea2.com]
Sent: Monday, June 04, 2012 11:33 AM
To: Sam Zell, Tribune Company; Sam Zell, Tribune Company (alt)
Cc: László Hajmási, DailyRumor.org; Barry Paperno, FICO; Craig Watts, Fair Isaac; John Ulzheimer, The Ulzheimer Group; Jane Hirt, vice president, managing editor, Chicago Tribune; Gary Weitman, SVP, corporate relations, Tribune Company; Elliot Raphaelson, columnist, Tribune Media Services, Tribune Company; Carolyn Bigda, columnist, Chicago Tribune; Gerould W. Kern, senior vice-president and editor, Chicago Tribune
Subject: RE: credit score, utilization ratio, Chicago Tribune II

Credit score expert John Ulzheimer calls the overstatement of the importance of credit utilization ratio a myth.  Now there is a copy of your inaccurate article on—get this—DailyRumor.org.

Oh, the irony.

And, there is even a link to your piece on the myFICO Facebook page.

Oh, the ultimate irony.


Greg Fisher
Page A2
pagea2.com
PO Box 342
Dayton, Ohio  45409-0342

 

From: Greg Fisher [mailto:greg@pagea2.com]
Sent: Friday, May 18, 2012 3:57 PM
To: Carolyn Bigda, columnist, Chicago Tribune
Subject: credit score, utilization ratio, Chicago Tribune

In error, you wrote, “Sixty-five percent of your score depends on just two things — your payment history and the amount you borrow compared with the total credit available to you (what’s known as a credit utilization ratio).”

That may be what Wikipedia says, but you are incorrect.  See http://www.myfico.com/CreditEducation/WhatsInYourScore.aspx.  The proportions of credit lines used and installment loan amounts still owing are only two of 6 items in the category that makes up 30 percent of the score.  Indeed, the number of accounts with balances is in that category, but has nothing to do with any ratio.

Where will the correction appear?


Greg Fisher
Page A2
pagea2.com
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]

 

NPR replies regarding headline error

From: Greg Fisher [mailto:greg@pagea2.com]
Sent: Wednesday, May 02, 2012 3:02 PM
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, NPR; Alicia Montgomery, NPR; Vicki McIvor, Take 3 Management (representing Alvin Hall)
Subject: RE: credit score, employers, NPR, Tell Me More, the sooner the better, 2009-2012, CRA

Your host takes it incorrectly.  I don’t disagree with anybody about any alleged inappropriate use of credit scores by employers.  That is because employers do not use credit scores, inappropriately or otherwise; they cannot even obtain them.

According to national consumer reporting agency Experian: “Experian’s Employment Insight report includes similar information about loans and credit cards that is listed in the credit report. It does not include year of birth, spouse reference, account number or credit score, which are irrelevant to hiring decisions.”

The interview did not take place more than three years ago.

Consider the citizens.

 

From: Michel Martin, host, Tell Me More, NPR
Sent: Wednesday, May 02, 2012 1:40 PM
To: ‘Greg Fisher’; Edward Schumacher-Matos
Cc: Portia Robertson Migas; Alicia Montgomery
Subject: RE: credit score, employers, NPR, Tell Me More, the sooner the better, 2009-2012

Mr. Fisher I’m good but not that good. i don’t remember this interview that took place more than three years ago,  I do not remember your objection  and i do not remember any interaction i may have had with you. I take it you disagree with Alvin Hall’s point that credit scores are being used by employers for reasons that he considers inapproppriate. I’ll leave it toour management team to determine whether this warrants a correction. it seem to me this is Alvin Hall’s opinion and he is entitled to it. but we’ll look ino it. a decision won’t rest solely on my opinion if that helps.

[previous correspondence]

Chicago Tribune, errors and corrections

From: Greg Fisher [mailto:greg@pagea2.com]
Sent: Friday, April 20, 2012 11:11 AM
To: Sam Zell, Tribune Company; Gerould W. Kern, editor, Chicago Tribune; Jane Hirt, managing editor, Chicago Tribune; Mary Elson, managing editor, Tribune Media Services
Cc: Mortimer B. Zuckerman, chairman, Executive Committee, editor-in-chief, U.S. News & World Report (via Liz Putze); Daniel Bortz, reporter/editor, Personal Finance, U.S. News & World Report
Subject: RE: credit score, employers, U.S. News, Chicago Tribune

See this message and your response at http://www.pagea2.com/chicago-tribune-errors-and-corrections/.

You published a U.S. News & World Report item that states, “Even job applicants can have their credit scores pulled by employers, as a means of determining if they’ll be a risky hire for the company.”

On the contrary, your website also states: “Similar to the reports that a consumer can obtain for free each year through credit-reporting agencies, employers receive a report that lists debt. The reports do not, however, give an applicant’s credit score.”


Greg Fisher
Page A2
pagea2.com
PO Box 342
Dayton, Ohio  45409-0342