| By Greg Fisher
TO: Barbara O'Neill, New Jersey Agricultural Experiment Station, Rutgers
CC: Greg Trevor, Media Relations, Rutgers University
FROM: Greg Fisher
DATE: July 19, 2016
SUBJECT: credit score, employers, Rutgers, Experian
See this message and your response at http://creditscoring.com/experian/rutgers/griffin-2016-07-19.html.
This weekend you wrote, falsely: "Also, as noted above, credit scores are also used in setting rates for auto insurance policies. In addition, potential landlords and employers use them as a character reference."
O'Neill, B. (2016, July 17). Here's some basic information about credit scores. New Jersey Herald. Retrieved July 18, 2016, from http://www.njherald.com/20160717/heres-some-basic-information-about-credit-scores
Employers do not use credit scores. I looked into it. See http://www.creditscoring.com/myths/#myth2.
Eight years ago, I chose that individual piece of false information (the notion that employers use credit scores) to make a point about misinformation. There are many credit score myths, but focusing on one provides the best illustration of how pernicious falsity is. http://www.creditscoring.com/influence/government/employment.htm
That point made, there is another problem in your piece. You wrote, "Other key factors are the amount owed as indicated by the proportion of outstanding debt to available credit limits (30 percent), the length of a person's credit history (15 percent), the number of recent credit inquiries (10 percent), and the mix of types of credit (e.g., credit cards, auto loan, mortgage, etc.) used (10 percent)."
That is false because it is mathematically impossible. Fair Isaac describes an entire category that makes up 30 percent of its scores, and there are other things in that category. I wrote about that 7 years ago. http://www.creditscoring.com/creditscore/fico/factors/credit-utilization-ratio-accounts-for.html
If the "proportion" you describe makes up 30 percent of a FICO score, then what percentage is made up by "How many accounts have balances"?
Of course, the only answer is zero and that is nonsense. But, yours is another very common error by people who should know better-- that is those with the temerity to write something for the entire world to see and attach their names to it, and those, like you, in positions of power. That is a much larger story and credit scores are just the backdrop.
When I challenged another writer on the same issue, he made a correction: "So I talked to the people at Fair Isaac, creators of FICO. Their statement: 'The credit utilization ratio is nearly 30% of a person's credit score.'" http://www.marketplace.org/2011/12/05/your-money/ask-money/hows-my-ratio
For the same reason above, that statement is troubling. First (prior to that statement), when I asked, Fair Isaac said, "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."
All this comes down to simple truth and falsity. What you wrote is false, and I expect you to set the record straight. Will you request that the publication make a correction?
I notice that you have a relationship with Experian; your portion of a slide show you share with its director of Public Education, Rod Griffin states that credit scores can influence job applications.
Did Griffin say anything about that? On the contrary, he states, "Employers never get credit scores."
Unfortunately, an Experian website states, falsely, "Creditors, landlords, and even some employers consider a person’s credit score."
Please acknowledge this message today by replying to it, directly.
Your institution marks its 250th anniversary this year. Verity.