Home > Influence > Consumer Advocates > Consumers Union > Fabulously Broke (again)
Influence: The Consumerist, Consumers Union, ValueClick
The Believers team meme gains steam, and things aren't always what they seem. Credit scores in employment and job screening.
||National Financial Literacy Month, 2011 (video),
Myth: Employers use credit scores
- What the President said
- Credit bureaus claim that they do not provide credit scores for employment screening
- Groundhog Day, 2012
- Groundhog Day, 2011
- Credit scores in employment, Believers and Nonbelievers
- Video: Media say employers use scores (2009)
- Federal Reserve on credit scores used by employers, 2009
- Federal Reserve on credit scores used by employers, 2010
- Federal Reserve on credit scores used by employers, 2010 (one more time)
- Members of Congress say credit scores are used by employers
- Members of Congress say credit scores are used by employers II
- Members of Congress say credit scores are used by employers III
- U.S. House representative testifies employers use credit scores
- U.S. Treasury Suggests Employers Use Credit Scores
- DoD agency states it does not use credit scores for security clearances
- White House credit score requirements
- Mentions of credit scores in employment in Oregon
- Washington attorney general on what "can" and "may" happen
- FICO company warns employers use credit scores that credit reporting agencies deny providing
- TransUnion employers survey credit report question error
- Training TransUnion on credit scores, employers
- Equifax: Employers can know your credit score
- Training Equifax on credit scores, employers
- Experian: Employers use credit scores
- Training Experian on credit scores, employers
- VantageScore: Employers use credit scores
- Employers using credit scores blogger meme
- Canada Day: Reuters, FICO and the employers myth
- USA TODAY will not reveal its source
- USA TODAY will not reveal its source II
- McClatchy newspaper will not identify its sources
- AP reports legislator said employers use credit scores
- Dallas Morning News on employers using Equifax credit scores and reports
- Influence: Hearst; San Francisco Chronicle
- Influence: Tribune; LA Times
- Credit score use by employers depiction by CBS
- Influence: CBS
- U.S. PIRG fails to prove employers use credit scores
- Influence: Consumers Union
The Consumerist suggests reading an article about credit scores on the website Financial Edge by Investopedia.com. The Financial Edge piece states, "Everyone makes mistakes from time to time, but knowing what actually hurts or helps your credit score will help you present yourself in the best light possible when it comes to wanting to land that job, secure that dreamy apartment or buy your first home."
However, the national consumer reporting agencies all state that they do not provide credit scores for employment screening.
Lauding the the Financial Edge story in its article "Ways You Can Screw Up Without Messing Up Your Credit Score," The Consumerist reassures, "Fabulously Broke puts you at ease by identifying several blunders that won't torpedo your credit score."
A reader of the Consumerist blog post took the information from Financial Edge as the truth. Poor kuhjäger writes: "It still bothers me that places can use your credit score to decide if they are going to hire you... Can't get a security clearance, so couldn't get a commission in the military, a job with the government, or anything in finance. I pay my actual bills, I am a respectable person, but for the next few years I am screwed."
On the other hand, an earlier Consumerist entry, circa 2007, dispels the notion of credit score use by employers.
On the third hand, after a year and a half, Consumers Union has still not replied, and is listed as a Believer.
Great minds think alike
In an email exchange last month, the author of the Financial Edge story, the person known as Fabulously Broke ("And yes, I get paid for each article"), failed to answer a question regarding the source of her claim about employers and credit scores. Instead, her hand forced, the scribe replied with a change to the copy. It wasn't pretty, and, unfortunately, the change did not make it to Hearst's San Francisco Chronicle.
Fabulously Broke's Financial Edge post bears a striking resemblance to a page at About.com. For instance:
|"8 Slipups That Won't Hurt Your Credit Score"
||"10 Things That Don't Affect Your Credit Score"
|"You may find information about your employer listed on your report, but your income has no impacts[SIC] on your credit score."
||"While information about your employer may be listed on your credit report, your income is not. Having a high or low salary won’t directly impact your credit score."
|"Much like the insurance, utility and cell phone providers, if you pay your rent on time, it won't help your credit score because the credit bureau would ignore it even if it appeared on the report."
||"Paying your rent on time won’t help your credit score. In fact, the FICO score would ignore the rental trade line even if it appeared on your credit report."
|"If your counselor is handling the payments for you, check on a regular basis that the payments are arriving on time, because late payments will hurt your score even though they're coming from a credit counselor."
||"If a credit counselor is managing your credit card payments, you must make sure your creditor is getting your payments on time. Late payments hurt your credit score even if they’re coming from a credit counselor."
|"You can check your credit report as much as you'd like without damaging it, but make sure you use a trusted source such as the credit bureaus themselves."
||"You can check your credit report as many times as you’d like and your credit score won’t drop a single point as long as you check it through a reputable source, like AnnualCreditReport.com, the credit bureaus, FICO, or a legitimate third-party."
And the blogger is not talking. But, hey, she's anonymous; nothing ventured, nothing lost.
As the employers/scores matrix propagates itself, little progress in substantiation was made in a separate flare-up of the meme theme in a highbrow circle. The confusion, mass hysteria, and loose proliferation does not discriminate.
The parent company of The Consumerist - Shoppers bite back is Consumer Media LLC. Consumer Media is a subsidiary of Consumers Union, the publisher of "Consumer Reports."
Financial Edge by Investopedia is owned by ValueClick.