The Company that Calculates Credit Scores
"... Fair, Isaac does not calculate credit scores... " [dead link; was at http://www.fairisaac.com/servlet/SiteDriver/Content/13. 2007-10-29]
"...it is our opinion that disclosing a consumer's score is not particularly helpful to that consumer." [dead link; was at http://www.fairisaac.com/servlet/SiteDriver/Content/269. 2007-10-29]
Fair Isaac (fka Fair, Isaac)
As of September 29, 1998, the domain fairisaac.com had the sixth highest number of page visits to this site.
They developed credit scores for all three repositories: Equifax, Experian and Trans Union.
Whenever somebody writes something about them concerning the recently adopted practice in mortgage banking of using credit scores-- because they have hardly anything to say about how scoring works-- they typically use the filler: Fair, Isaac "pioneered credit scoring" (see inset), "scoring is nothing new," and something about the company being in the game for years, "since 1956."
That only means it took them 35 years to convince the industry to use scoring.
- "'Fair' is all over the business we're in... The word itself even appears in our name, thanks to cofounder William Fair." (oh, brother) "... we use 10 different scorecards at each credit bureau... " [dead link; was at http://www.fairisaac.com/servlet/SiteDriver/Content/1007 -- 2007-10-29]
- Tips for consumers - 199 words. "There is no mystery about how people can improve their scores." (dead link; was at http://www.fairisaac.com/servlet/SiteDriver/Content/929 -- 2007-10-29)
- Fair, Isaac wants to know! They need more statistics. Statistics about statistics. Question 7 from their survey (which appeared in a pop-up window during a recent visit to their site): "How interested would you be in knowing your own credit score? Please use a scale of 1 to 5, with 1 being not interested and 5 being highly interested."
- Your rate based on your score - "... Thus, the pricing rationale is that those who score 680 should pay a higher interest rate or higher fees than people who score 710, to compensate for that risk." [dead link; was at http://moneycentral.msn.com/articles/homemort/basics/1507.asp -- 2007-10-29] (Also see: Freddie Mac: Get Set for Loan-Level Pricing)
- Your education level counts - "A college-educated person is given more 'points' than a high school graduate, for example." [dead link; was at http://moneycentral.msn.com/articles/banking/credit/1340.asp -- 2007-10-29 (see wayback)(also: Fair Isaac on what's NOT in your FICO score: "Any information not found in your credit report."]
- Frequently Asked Questions [dead link; was at http://220.127.116.11/servlet/SiteDriver/Content/927 -- 2007-10-29](The Infrequently Asked Question: are you the consumer, or is the lender? The lender makes the credit report buying decision. You are just a piece of meat.). Includes advice for getting a higher score: "Keep balances low." "Low" not defined.
creditscoring.com editor's note, 5/27/99: They have apparently removed this statement.
- Consumer Benefits [dead link; was at http://www.fairisaac.com/FI_Home/html/consumer_benefits.html -- 2007-10-29](or: Why You Should Accept the Scheme Without Knowing Your Score or How It's Calculated)(even a scary story about why you need credit scoring for immediate medical treatment: credit score, or death)
- Scoring Benefits [dead link; was at http://www.fairisaac.com/servlet/SiteDriver/Content/839 -- 2007-10-29]
- Shedding New Light on Credit Scoring (dead link; was at http://www.fairisaac.com/servlet/SiteDriver/Content/269/1. (seehttp://findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_hb5246/is_199703/ai_n20496289) 2007-10-29) - Addressing hard-hitting questions (at least the ones they want to answer) from mortgage bankers. Apparently has taken a lot of flack from bankers forced to buy their product. "It requires that you take a step back to look at the big picture and then reconcile personal issues with the overall industry impact." Also includes the smash hit: You Don't Get to Know Your Score: "The score itself is not helpful to the consumer for several reasons..."
- Forbes Digital Tool: Personal finance - Scorecard [dead link; was at http://www.forbes.com/1998/12/29/side1.html -- 2007-10-29] - Journalism Lite. "The mass acceptance of the Internet in recent years, says Taylor-Shoff, has also increased the ability for 'disgruntled consumers' and others to spread misinformation about the credit scoring process and the credit industry in general." On how to get your score, or, rather, how you may not: "Lenders and brokers should not be selling reports to consumers." The wise Fair, Isaac also comments on lenders' decisions: "In addition, in this competitive market, lenders will usually extend consumers more credit than they can afford, says Taylor-Shoff." It is not clear if they were talking about those lenders who are their clients.
- "Part of Fair, Isaac's problem seems to center on a basic inability of the investment community to understand the company's business." That would be the case of the investment community trying to understand something about which they have no information-- something secret.
- Forbes (5-4-98) Finance Backroom boys - "An obscure outfit of math-minded Ph.D.s in California is as much responsible for the megamergers in banking as anyone on Wall Street."
- Fair, Isaac's site refers to the mortgage broker [dead link; was at http://www.fairisaac.com/servlet/SiteDriver/Content/686 -- 2007-10-29] who "assured the couple that his strategy should boost their FICO scores significantly."
"Two months later, the couple reapplied for the same low rate. The broker pulled their scores again, but to everyone's shock, they were 20 to 30 points lower. They didn't get the loan."
On the same site: "How Can I Learn More? To learn more about your score and your lender's policy regarding credit scoring, talk to your lender or mortgage broker [dead link; was at http://18.104.22.168/servlet/SiteDriver/Content/927#23 -- 2007-10-29]."
- From Fair, Isaac's "Scoring facts and fallacies": "Fallacy: [dead link; was at http://22.214.171.124/servlet/SiteDriver/Content/928 -- 2007-10-29] My score will drop if I apply for new credit."
It's followed by their answer in four sentences. The first uses the word, "probably," the second, "a short period of time," the third, "can," "most" and "a short period of time," and the fourth uses "typically."
You weren't imagining it; things weren't always so wonderful: "Without these changes, a consumer's ability to shop is often impaired because multiple requests for a credit report will lower their score [dead link; was at http://www.namb.org/press/creditrl.htm -- 2007-10-29]." Spin lives.
- One Fair, Isaac vice president says "the most dramatic, rapid improvements in a credit score can come when erroneous data in your file is eliminated [dead link; was at http://www.freep.com/realestate/money/qharney8.htm -- 2007-10-29]."
A recurring theme. Equifax echoes: "If any item on your file is incorrect then that also may affect your 'score'."
Credit scoring is based on erroneous data? A credit report incorrect? Could it be? Yipe!
Some of those who Fair, Isaac got to write the word "pioneered." Use your browser's "find" function (click on "Edit") to find "pioneer" (also, try "195").
- What is a FICO score? [dead link; was at http://www.aspenloan.com/FICOscore.htm -- 2007-10-29]
- Credit Scoring and Your Loan Approval [dead link; was at http://fmfinc.com/CreditInfo.htm -- 2007-10-29]
- HOUSTON HOMES/Credit Scoring/Ginger Dambeck 713-460-2191 [dead link; was at http://web.wt.net/~dambeck/scoring.htm -- 2007-10-29]
- What is a FICO score?
- Credit Scoring [dead link; was at http://www.creditinfocenter.com/creditreports/crscore.htm -- 2007-10-29]
- Lighthouse Home Loans. : home loans purchases refinances non owner fixed adjustables
- UR WWW: Wire Report 0508k [dead link; was at http://www.uwreport.com/wire/news0597/0508fai.htm -- 2007-10-29]
- CFI - Financials [dead link; was at http://www.cfipro.com/news/pr111297.html -- 2007-10-29]
- Total System Services News Release - July 7, 1997 [dead link; was at http://www.synovus.com/infocntr/tss_releases/970707_team.html -- 2007-10-29]
- Deluxe Forms Alliances with Fair, Isaac [dead link; was at http://www.deluxe.com/deluxe/about/news/c01-28-98.htm -- 2007-10-29]
- ST&F's Partners - Fair, Isaac International Corp. [dead link; was at http://www.stef.it/en_fair.htm -- 2007-10-29]
- Shedding New Light on Credit Scoring [dead link; was at http://www.fairisaac.com/servlet/SiteDriver/Content/269 -- 2007-10-29]
- About Fair, Isaac [dead link; was at http://www.dynamark.com/FairIsaac/FairIsaac.html -- 2007-10-29]