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HOME > Influence > Media > News agencies > Reuters > Canada Day > 2011

Canada Day: Reuters claims Fair Isaac told it employers can use credit scores

Thomson Reuters in 2011 on the employers using credit scores in jobs and hiring myth. The news agency said Fair Isaac (FICO) confirmed the information.

Also, see

National Financial Literacy Month, 2011 (video),
Myth: Employers use credit scores


7/27/2011

Myth: Employers use credit scores


From: Greg Fisher [mailto:greg@creditscoring.com]
Sent: Monday, May 23, 2011 11:42 PM
To: John Wasik, columnist, Reuters
Subject: credit score, employers, Reuters, 2011-05-23

See this message and your response at http://blog.creditscoring.com/?p=2116 and http://blog.creditscoring.com/?tag=thomson-reuters.

You wrote, "Potential employers and insurance companies also check credit scores, so your FICO is a keystone to your future security as well."

Who is your source regarding credit score use by employers?

--
Greg Fisher
The Credit Scoring Site
creditscoring.com
PO Box 342
Dayton, Ohio 45409-0342


From: John Wasik
Sent: Tuesday, May 24, 2011 8:59 AM
To: greg@creditscoring.com
Subject: Re: credit score, employers, Reuters, 2011-05-23

Myself. My last would-be employer asked for one.

JW


From: Greg Fisher
Sent: Tuesday, May 24, 2011 9:52 AM
To: John Wasik
Subject: RE: credit score, employers, Reuters, 2011-05-23

The consumer reporting agencies do not provide credit scores for employment purposes.

Did your would-be employer obtain a score?


From: John Wasik
Sent: Tuesday, May 24, 2011 11:52 AM
To: greg@creditscoring.com
Subject: Re: credit score, employers, Reuters, 2011-05-23

I refused to give that information.


From: Greg Fisher
Sent: Tuesday, May 24, 2011 12:51 PM
To: John Wasik
Subject: RE: credit score, employers, Reuters, 2011-05-23

Will you describe what happened?


From: John Wasik
Sent: Tuesday, May 24, 2011 7:43 PM
To: greg@creditscoring.com
Subject: Re: credit score, employers, Reuters, 2011-05-23

I was applying for employment and they requested access to my credit score. I refuse[SIC] to grant them that, saying I thought it was unnecessary.

JW


From: Greg Fisher [mailto:greg@creditscoring.com]
Sent: Wednesday, May 25, 2011 12:50 AM
To: John Wasik, columnist, Reuters
Cc: Felix Salmon, blogger, Reuters; Linda Stern, reporter, Reuters; Erin Kurtz, head of public relations, Media & Editorial, head of Americas Public Relations, Thomson Reuters; David Thomson, 3rd Baron Thomson of Fleet, and chairman, Thomson Reuters
Subject: RE: credit score, employers, Reuters, 2011-05-23

You perpetuate a myth. The agencies provide reports, but not scores, for employment purposes. And, in your case, no employer checked a credit score.

But, this story is really about inaccurate information.

Last year, when another Thomson Reuters writer stated that the head of Fair Isaac said that employers use credit scores (the writer even used the word "fact"), I posted a comment on the story, saying, "In 2008, when I asked FICO about its claim that employers use scores, a spokesman said that the company bases its claim on 'anecdotal information gleaned from public sources such as published articles.'"

Thomson Reuters did not clarify the piece.

Earlier this year, another Thomson Reuters writer claimed, "Lenders, landlords, employers and insurance companies all use these automated scoring systems to assess the riskiness of their potential customers, so having a low credit score can cost you an apartment, an insurance policy, a mortgage loan, or several thousands of dollars in higher interest costs."

The writer replied that her source was VantageScore. VantageScore replied, "Thank you for alerting us about this and rest assured last week we informed Ms. Stern that we have updated our information to reflect that employers use credit reports and not credit scores."

Thomson Reuters did not correct the piece (indeed, titled "What you need to know now about credit scores").

The consumer reporting agencies all state that they do not provide credit scores for employment purposes. See their statements at http://www.creditscoring.com/influence/government/employment.htm. So, if the consumer reporting agencies do not provide credit scores for employment purposes, then how could the employer access your score?


From: Lauren Young
Sent: Wednesday, May 25, 2011 5:26 PM
To: greg@creditscoring.com
Subject: Reuters letter

Hi Greg,

I'm the personal finance editor here at Reuters, overseeing John Wasik's contributions as well as Linda Stern's personal finance coverage.

I was forwarded your email about John's most recent column. Coincidentally, I had a meeting with Mark Greene, president of FICO today, so I asked him to respond to your letter.

He confirmed that credit scores -- as well as reports -- can be accessed and used by employers as well as landlords. They are also used by auto companies, insurers and, obviously, banks.

Lauren Young
Personal Finance Editor

Thomson Reuters

Phone: 646-[xxx-xxxx]
Mobile: 646-[xxx-xxxx]
[xxxx@xxxx.xxx]
thomsonreuters.com

http://blogs.reuters.com/reuters-wealth/

Twitter: @LaurenYoung


For an update, return to The Credit Scoring Site on Canada Day, July 1, 2012.



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Do employers use credit scores?

Don't believe it.


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 http://www.creditscoring.com, 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 CreditScoring.com helped him-- and millions of other consumers-- extend fair credit reporting rights to credit scoring information."

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

"CreditScoring.com 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, creditscoring.com and creditaccuracy.com."