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Appendix: Authorized user accounts quirk

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FICO 08 held hostage

Day 36, 11/5/07

In credit scoring, don't believe anything until you (finally) see it.

Fair Isaac is not in charge-- the billion-dollar credit bureaus are. That's always been the case, and that's why Fair Isaac was not part of the 1997 discussion.

Do the credit bureaus have to offer a new score every time Fair Isaac presents one? Apparently not. For that matter, what's stopping the national credit bureaus from simply taking the current FICO score off the shelf, and making their VantageScore the only one available? They do whatever they want, whenever they want to do it, until forced-- by law-- to stop. And even then, when it is crystal clear, consumer reporting agencies still do not obey the law.

11/03/07, Washington Post (and syndicated): "Reprieve for the 'Piggybackers': Still No Credit-Score Crackdown" by Kenneth Harney - "A complicating factor in all this: The three major bureaus have created their own credit score, known as Vantage [sic], which also excludes consideration of authorized-user accounts." (alt, alt, alt)

11/2/07, American Banker, "Rift with Bureau Could Hold Up FICO 08 Rollout: "An impasse between Fair Isaac Corp. and one of the three major credit bureaus threatens to stymie the rollout of the newest version of the FICO score — and, possibly, the eradication of the controversial practice of credit 'renting.'"

Also, "...An impasse between Fair Isaac Corp. and one of the ... at least until litigation between Fair Isaac and the three bureaus ... offer the new version, which Fair Isaac had hoped would be... "

(Get a free 2-week pass to to read the whole story, including the part about the stone-walling credit bureau whose name starts with the letter e.)


So, Experian, Ken Harney reports, has "no firm time table" to make its version of FICO 08 available. In October, 2006, Experian's Maxine Sweet-- the character at the center of the FICO 08 release date silliness-- made a presentation to the Federal Reserve. As she spoke alliteratively about "Confused consumer advocates" and "Misinformed mortgage professionals," right under the Fed's noses, she and her company continued their gargantuan and relentless campaign to sell Experian's big Fake-O PLUS score.

Indeed, Experian knows all about confusion in the market for credit scores because they practically invented it.

Fair Isaac press release, 6/5/07: "The adjustment removes authorized user accounts from consideration by the scoring model in FICO 08, the newest version of the Classic FICO credit score which Fair Isaac expects to become available to lenders starting in September."

8/5/07, Eileen Ambrose, Baltimore Sun wrote, in "YOUR CREDIT SCORE MAY CHANGE AS FICO CREATORS DROP AUTHORIZED USERS," "Experian will offer this new FICO scoring model beginning next month, says Maxine Sweet, Experian's vice president of consumer education." (alt)

November, 2007, Kiplinger's Personal Finance magazine, November 2007 issue: "No More Piggybacking on Dad's Credit" by Joan Goldwasser - "A gradual phase-in of the new FICO formula -- it won't be completely in place until spring -- gives piggybackers an opportunity to apply for credit while they're more likely to qualify and get a better interest rate." "If you are a reporter interested in learning more about the FICO formula change, please contact Emily Davidson at or 415-901-1559."

Stir it up.

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