Blow by blow, from day one
Index | 2011 |
2010 | 2009 | 2008 |
2007 | 2006 | 2005 |
2004 | 2003 |
2002 | 2001 |
2000 | 1999 |
- Since the battle for your scores is over (and you won; see the
next item in this update), now shift your attention to the crux of
the biscuit, the real issue: Accuracy, at creditaccuracy.com, starring
Bruce C. Luckman of Marion, Satzberg, Trichon & Kogan, P.C.,
lawyer for TransUnion (formerly Trans Union).
- The Anticlimax, June 11, 2003 - A "big day" (a better
description is "some long years")
- Fair Isaac: "Consumers Can See All Three FICO Scores Used by Lenders to Make Credit Decisions" - "This is a big day for American consumers... " [alt, 2014-09-04]
(conversely, Minnesota Spin, it was 12
- A look at the recent past
- Palm Beach Post editorial: "The cost of bad
In their rate filings, they will be required to tell
state insurance regulators how they are using the information. A
bill, however, gives their methods a "trade secrets"
exemption from Florida's public-records law, so customers can't
see how they do it. That may lead to problems when lawsuits
- Teresa Dixon Murray, reporter for The Plain Dealer of
Cleveland: "Savvy Consumers Are Eager to Know the Score" -
"Scores are also being used increasingly by... Judges
to determine the character of people appearing in court."
- Consumer Reports' annual April auto issue lays out 10 common
traps to avoid... The False Credit Score. The dealer checks your
credit report but lies
about your score... "
- Columnist's experience: "Can't get any credit for not being
in debt" - "Big Don's letter suggested that I had borrowed
too little, not too much."
- In Michigan:
- "'Credit scoring' as a means of determining the size of
insurance premiums - the subject of recent columns - continues
to draw the
wrath of readers... "
- "After just two weeks in office, the state's insurance
commissioner has cracked the whip on "credit scoring" as a way
of setting insurance premiums... Speaking of credit, I've
written about companies offering credit to children, pets and,
in one memorable case, a
- In Ohio: "Department of Insurance Credit Score Rule
Effective in September - Rule Establishes Consumer
The rule prohibits insurance companies from using a
consumerâ€™s credit score as the sole
criterion for rating or underwriting personal auto and
homeowners insurance policies. The rule also will require
certain disclosures be made to consumers, including an
explanation of what factors in their credit report have
contributed to a higher rate or rejection of coverage.
- In Maine: "Maine Sends NCOIL-based Credit Bill to
Governor" - "'It enabled legislators to preserve
insurers' ability to use this highly predictive tool while
providing consumer protections,' Weber concluded."
- In Deleware: "Insurance chief: Consumers protected" -
the first time, the state will have some control over the use
of 'credit scoring' for insurance purposes."
- In Wisconsin: "Credit revs up policy costs" - "Dick
Luedke, a spokesman for State
Farm Insurance, said thereâ€™s a clear link between credit
information and insurance claims."
- U.S. House - H.R.1473: "To amend the Fair Credit
Reporting Act to provide disclosures of credit-based insurance
scoring information by insurers and credit reporting agencies,
and for other purposes."
- "Ask credit 'genius' for advice" - "More important,
Warnken knows how to fix these glitches to boost his credit score
- and boost his chances of getting the best loan at the best
- NY Times: "Surprise Jumps in Credit Rates Bring
Scrutiny" - "While each credit card issuer decides which
factors warrant a rate change, virtually all companies keep tabs
on a cardholder's credit score,
the single number calculated to represent the information in a
- Syndicated national columnist Robert Bruss
describes FICO scores as "arbitrtary": "For example, the arbitrary
FICO scores are based on credit history alone."
- Chicago Sun Times: Credit scores "over
900"! (!!!) (Fair Isaac: "FICO scores range between 300 and 850.")
- creditscoring.com is mentioned by Clark
- Consumer Reports: "In his 'Memo to Members' in the
October 2002 issue of Consumer Reports, Consumers Union President
Jim Guest calls for every state to ban
insurance companies from using credit scores to set rates."
- Kansas City Star columnist: "SURVIVAL SKILLS: Credit
score could determine flight
- The FDIC chimes (Why not? Everybody else does.) in:
"Note: Under some credit scoring systems, canceling
credit cards can lower your credit score, not raise it."
- CBS, The Early Show: "Understanding
Your Credit Score" (video)
- Fair, Isaac
- You big dummies
- "American Consumers
Score a 'D' on Fair Isaac's National Credit Genius Quiz"
- Ironic, premature (who "celebrates" a D
grade?) press release: "The event is a week-long celebration
of the financial gains available to consumers by knowing their
credit health and using that knowledge to
boost their financial prospects." (note to copyboy:
Get serious. This is a dull topic; you're not peddling
soda-pop and bluejeans anymore.)
- Newsletter: "A signal to mortgage
lenders: Standard & Poor's accepts NextGen
So, here's a signal to Fair, Isaac: If
you're going to hustle a new score, then release it to
consumers. Haven't you learned a damned thing?
And, what do you think, Mr.
- FICO vs. Fake-O (this is getting
old): Experian still won't give you the real score. Why would
anybody pay $14.95 for theirs when they can get the real scores
from TransUnion or Equifax for only $12.95?
- "Fair Isaac Announces National Credit Power Week... "
- Press release, 4/3/03 calls it a "celebration."
- Attention news media (the target audience-- along
with legislators-- of this Web site): Lining up your guests or
quotes? For the antithesis-- and some fun questions with which
to ask Fair, Isaac-- call
- Tricky, tricky! Here's the new secret score:
- Fair Isaac: "NextGen
scores provide financial institutions with unsurpassed
broad-based risk assessment. Their acceptance will allow
Standard and Poor's to help lenders
tap into a powerful credit risk assessment solution, and will
help accelerate widespread adoption of our NextGen scores in the
mortgage loan industry."
- Some Fair, Isaac email addresses;
ask them for your "NextGen" score. Please copy
- CAPPS II
- Transportation Security
Administration, U.S. Department of Homeland Security
- "TSA Selects Lockheed
Martin Management and Data Systems to build TSA Passenger
- Downplaying it (the missing press release):
- Oakland Tribune: "After this week's summit, members
of the American Civil Liberties Union and Washington-based
privacy advocacy, the Center for Democracy and Technology
reported that the TSA told them than the Delta experiment "'is
- ACLU: "Under the proposed CAPPS II system, a check
against various databases, including law enforcement,
intelligence, and credit agencies, would be run each time
someone buys an airline ticket and a risk assessment â€œscoreâ€ for
each passenger would be assigned: green for minimal, yellow to
spark heightened security procedures and red for those judged to
pose an acute danger. People with red
scores would be referred to law enforcement."
- "Documents Show Errors in TSA's "No-Fly"
- "Coalition Letter on Passenger
Profiling" (American Civil Liberties Union, American
Conservative Union, American Defense Council, Americans for
Tax Reform, Center for Democracy and Technology, Christian
Coalition, Eagle Forum, Electronic Frontier Foundation,
Electronic Privacy Information Center, Free Congress
Foundation, People for the American Way)
- NewsMax.com: "Budget Office: No
Airline Security For You!"
- NPR: "Frazzled
Travelers Fight to Clear Their Names" (audio)
- CNN: "The government's plan to assign a threat level
to all airline passengers is running into trouble
with budget officials who aren't convinced it will reduce the
risk of terrorism."
- dc.internet.com: "FED CIO Says CAPPS II Funding At
Risk" - "Once that information is entered, the airline
computer reservation system will automatically link to the TSA
for a computer background check on the traveler that can include
banking history and criminal background check."
- Wired News: "Traveling? Take Big
- "According to James Loy, administrator of the TSA at the
Department of Homeland Security, the system will survey databases
available to every commercial entity in America but will not
reach crime computers or bank records."
- privacyactivism.org: CAPPS II News
- "Senators call for CAPPS oversight"
- "Senator Ron Wyden (D.-Ore.), who earlier this year
spearheaded an effort to cut
off funding for the Pentagon's Total Information Awareness
program, won Senate Commerce Committee approval last week of an
amendment to require Congressional oversight of the Computer
Assisted Passenger Prescreening System (CAPPS II) being
developed by the Transportation Security Administration (TSA)."
- CNN: "Transportation officials say a contractor will
be picked soon to build the nationwide computer system, which
will check such things as credit
reports and bank account activity and compare passenger
names with those on government watch lists."
"Never before in the history of this country has the travel of
free citizens been contingent on government permission."
- Rhode Island state representative Victor G. Moffitt:
"I find it incomprehensible that something as simple
as checking your own credit for possible errors can result in
harming your overall credit score. When I learned of this deceptive
practice, I was compelled to introduce legislation to end this
immediately. This clearly discriminated against consumers
shopping around for better rates on mortgages, automobiles, et
- Pop media
- Dueling reporters
- Tracy Davidson, Philadelphia NBC 10 Consumer
Reporter: "FICO says that having open accounts you don't
use or an available line of credit will not
lower your score."
- Michelle Singletary, Columnist, The Washington
Post: "If you want to improve your credit standing, one
place to start is to close
unused credit card accounts."
- Liz-- she's everywhere.
- Liz-- gettin' jiggy wid' it:
"Rather than making assumptions about how credit
scoring works, you might want to contact the National
Association of Mortgage Brokers, which has information and
seminars for lending professionals on this topic. Your
clients deserve a broker who truly is well informed -- not
just one who
thinks she is."
- Liz-- with friendlier advice: "Closing accounts can
hurt your credit score, so accounts once
opened are usually best left alone."
- Fair, Isaac Reason Code #4: "Too
many bank or national revolving accounts" (the secret
- More recent Liz: The Opting Out Controversy!
"By the way, selling such lists is the way
credit bureaus make money. These are private businesses that
gather and sell information about consumers.
"Other than using the opt-out service -- which reduces,
eliminate such credit solicitations -- there's not much
you can do.
- Equifax: "Consumer's
Right to Opt-Out: Consumers may opt-out of
pre-approved offers of credit or insurance by calling one
toll-free number: 1-888-5-OPTOUT (1-888-567-8688)."
- Experian: "You
can remove your name from prescreened credit or insurance
offer mailing lists from Experian, Innovis, TransUnion and
Equifax, by calling 1 888 5OPT OUT (1 888 567 8688)."
- TransUnion (formerly Trans Union): "If you opt out,
you will no
longer appear on direct marketing lists obtained from
these four credit reporting agencies."
- Quick and easy pop media fodder: Slow news day? Write
about credit scores.
- Dos Mundos: "Understanding and reviewing oneâ€™s
credit score" - "FICO scores range between 300
and 870." (Fair, Isaac: "FICO scores range from 300 to
- Channel 7, San Diego: "How To Boost Your Credit
Rating" - "According to Consumer Reports, there are three
digits that can control a person's life... The credit
reporting companies rate a consumer's credit worthiness by
giving them a three digit score from 300
to 900, the higher the better." (Fair, Isaac: "FICO
scores range from 300 to
- Liz Pulliam Weston, contributor to the Los Angeles
Times: "Does it help or hurt to have one consolidated
payment rather than paying on multiple
- Houston Chronicle: "Hurts: The introductory
price for all of this is $39.95. That's
a lot to pay for reports you can get for free if you're
turned down for a credit card, loan or other financial
- How Fair, Isaac makes, spends money
- "Consumers helping Fair, Isaac score" - "However,
some of Fair, Isaac's success can be attributed to the company's
decision in 2001 to provide FICO scores to consumers. Fair,
Isaac and lenders once jealously
guarded the proprietary credit rating system, but legislative
and consumer pressure eventually prompted them to make the
scores publicly available."
- Minneapolis: "Fair, Isaac takes ritzy
downtown space at AT&T Tower"
- San Diego: "Fair, Isaac inks lease
deal - Agrees to occupy 129,752 square feet in San Diego"
- Fair, Isaac: Then and Now - The corny spin on
- 2000: "We're not a household word. I don't
know that we want to be."
2003: "MyFICO goes to
the Super Bowl with national
- 2000: "E-LOAN Screams Foul on Fair
Isaac's No-tell Credit Scoring Policy"
Isaac: "NEW! Help someone start the New Year on the right
foot - give a myFICO product as
- 1999, Countrywide Home Loans: "Again, the agreement
that we have with Fair, Isaac, is that we
are not to release that score... Our hands are
2002, Fair, Isaac: "One problem consumers have
is they don't learn about scores before applying for a loan and
they may be surprised to learn that their scores are too low to
qualify them for certain loans. When Realtors
understand how that can impact the transaction, they are in a
better position to pass that knowledge along."
- 1999: "And in fact, I'm sorry to tell you this, but
Fair, Isaac's job is not
to tell you how to get a better score."
"How to get a better
score. - Find out how scoring works, and how to improve
your score - straight from Fair, Isaac, the developers of FICO
"Loan Biz Not Playing Fair, Isaac" - "So
do the credit scorers want their tallies kept secret?...
According to a statement from Fair, Isaac, the answer is simple:
Consumers won't understand what the numbers mean." - Wired
News, April 7, 2000
"Fair, Isaac drops the ball in credit info game" -
that the times and the tide are both turning against it, the Marin
County financial software company is struggling to keep its
coveted credit-scoring system out of the view of consumers." -
San Francisco Business Times, June 2, 2000
"Whose Credit Is It Anyway?" - "Cannon's bill is one of
three such bills working their way through Congress."
- Wired News, September 22, 2000
"How Fair Is Fair Isaac? The secrecy surrounding the
company's proprietary credit-scoring system is sparking a
firestorm of criticism -- and legislative action" - "The
insurance hubbub isn't Fair Isaac's first run-in with privacy
advocates. In September, 2000, it was hauled
in before a congressional subcommittee to explain why
consumers don't have access to their FICO scores." -
Businessweek Online, April 4, 2002
"Take Advantage of Fair Isaac's New Openness" - "A
Complete 180. This vision of the future is quite a departure
from Fair Isaac's past." - The Street.com, August 6, 2002
- More on Fair, Isaac
- Alaska legislation: "'Bill would halt 'credit
scoring'" - "Their testimony revealed that the driver with
credit paid a lower insurance rate despite the fact that he
had been arrested for driving while intoxicated... 'Just having
a store credit card like JC Penny's or Nordstrom's can lower
your score,' [State Senator John] Cowdery said in a prepared
- In Washington State: "Starting Jan. 1, Washington's
new law, expected to be closely
tracked by the industry and by regulators from other states,
limits a company's use of consumer-credit history in deciding
whether to issue a new policy or to renew or cancel an existing
- In Montana: "Dawn Torte, 47, called her agent when
she got a notice that her car
insurance bill was going up $70 a month."