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| By Greg Fisher

Credit scores in the shade of the oak tree

Connecticut has a special place in the history of credit score anxiety

"Bernie Madoff had a pretty good credit score."

So quoteth the fabled New York Times as it repeated words it attributes to Matthew Lesser, a state legislator in Connecticut.

Employers do not use credit scores.

Wikipedia states: "In 2009, TransUnion representatives testified before the Connecticut legislature about their practice of marketing credit score reports to employers for use in the hiring process. Legislators in at least twelve states introduced bills, and three states have passed laws to limit the use of credit check during the hiring process.[20]"

Consumer reporting agency TransUnion testified alright, but what they actually said is quite different.

Footnote 20 leads to a confounding sentence from the New York Times that states, "Employers can generally use credit checks — but not credit scores — during the employment process as long as they obtain written permission from the potential employee."

Even more confusing is another section of the same Wikipedia article about credit scores, indeed, titled "Use in   _____   decisions" ["_____" (a blank space) is used here to avoid exacerbation of Credit Score Myth 2].

Contrary to that subheading is information under it that claims (accurately (see the link above: "do not")) that the main three U.S. consumer reporting agencies deny providing credit scores for employment purposes.

Are you confused yet?

SB 361 is (American) history. But, let's go back a few years before its passage, and find out what happened at another Connecticut institution.

It starts with a slight detour.

From: Greg Fisher [mailto:greg@creditscoring.com]
Sent: Thursday, May 22, 2014 9:30 AM
To: Douglas Peterson, president and CEO, McGraw Hill Financial (via E. Fredrix Goodman)
Subject: credit score, typical

Immediately after a paragraph about FICO credit scores, a person or group at your company wrote, "A typical credit score will range between 300 points and 850 points."

That's a very funny statement to me. You see, the scale of the Real Big Credit Score (a FICO score) is, actually, 300 to 850.

In other words, it seems like you're saying that everybody's scores are typical. True, but funny.

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

From: Fredrix, Emily
Sent: Thursday, May 22, 2014 9:32 AM
To: greg@creditscoring.com
Subject: RE: credit score, typical

Please remove me.

Game on, New York. Here's some more midwestern corn sense.

Another lulu in "Understanding Your Credit Score" by McGraw Hill: "About 30% of your credit score is determined by the amount you owe in relation to the amount of credit available to you. If that percentage is more than 50%, your score will be lower."

Lower than what?

Two (unnamed) experts always say 30 percent (and that's another story), while Fair Isaac (the FICO score company itself) states, the "lower, the better."