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Clark Howard
Federal Reserve
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Nolo: Credit Repair
MoneyCentral Radio
The Detroit News, July 17, 2000
Money Maze Radio
USA Today Hot Site, 9/17/98

U.S. Treasury Suggests Employers Use Credit Scores
Federal Government public service announcement television spot refers to credit scores in employment setting

Contrary to statements from the three national credit reporting agencies, the United States Department of the Treasury suggests that employers use credit scores in hiring decisions.

PSA "Capiche"

In its public service announcement television spot "Capiche," the Treasury shows a young woman entering a dingy office and saying to her new employer, "Thank you for overlooking my credit score."

The spot announcement provides an address to the Department's website Bad Credit Hotel (, where the agency warns, "Whether applying for a job, taking out a loan, or making a big purchase, a high credit score gives you options."

Capiche was created by advertising agency Lowe Worldwide in affiliation with the non-profit Ad Council.

Bad Credit Hotel is a collaboration of Lowe New York and Firstborn Multimedia.

The Treasury PSA can also be found on the video website YouTube:

Circular Reference

Replying to in April, consumer reporting agencies Equifax, Experian and TransUnion all denied providing credit scores to employers for employment screening. However, as previously reported on, other government, media and legal-profession players make the claim that credit scores are, indeed, part of employers' pre-employment screening.

On the home page of its website, a Fair Isaac video states:

In addition to credit decisions, your FICO credit score may be used to determine if a landlord will rent to you, or even if an employer will hire you. That's right. That little three-digit number between three-hundred and eight-fifty impacts your financial life in a lot of ways.

In late 2007, VISA began claiming that credit scores are used in employment screening. Then, Fair Isaac—who sells credit scores—parroted the same claim. Asked earlier this month to substantiate its assertion, Fair Isaac replied that "the myFICO video clip was based on anecdotal information gleaned from public sources such as published articles." Called on to explain itself, VISA similarly used the term "anecdotally."

VISA's website still features a graphic on the front page which states, "WHEN YOU'RE READY FOR A REAL JOB you'll be glad you have a good credit score."


April, 1997: "Information on how to obtain one's credit score is suspiciously absent from your site. How do I get mine?"

"And we're not running a game show. I mean, we're evaluating risk. We're not trying to have people get--achieve the highest score."

"Fisher is a fan of going by the book and then beyond it."

"He beat the scoring proponents to the punch by scooping up the web address, from which he launches often strident, sometimes wacky, but usually well-documented attacks on the credit-scoring concept and the industries that support it."

Realty Consumers Empowered By Online "Peoples" Court - "His Web site helped him-- and millions of other consumers-- extend fair credit reporting rights to credit scoring information."

"Fisher operates the Web site, which skewers the secrecy of the credit bureaus and Fair, Isaac." - The Detroit News

" is an exceptionally-interesting site that offers news and information regarding credit scoring and-- really-- the entire credit process."

"'Garbage in, garbage out,' says Greg Fisher of Dayton, Ohio, who runs two Web sites on the subject, and"