| By Greg Fisher
From: Greg Fisher [mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org]
Sent: Monday, April 25, 2016 1:03 PM
To: Jerry Bever, KTVA, Anchorage
Cc: Brenda Miernyk, Wells Fargo; Craig W. Richards, attorney general, state of Alaska
Subject: credit score, free, false information in the public's airwaves
KTVA television, Anchorage
Dear Mr. Bever:
See this message and your reponse at http://www.creditscoring.com/influence/industry/banks/wells-fargo/ktva-anchorage.html [this page].
Thank you for talking.
I sincerely mean that, although I presume that you are under some compulsion to engage as your unique identity is the one listed by our broadcasting regulator. Once, I called the telephone number listed for a Los Angeles television station and was connected directly to an executive. He heard my concern. Sometimes things work.
Your address above has special meaning. In return for your use of the public's airwaves, you have agreed to operate in the interest of your community. Although a cynic would consider that an old-fashioned notion, it is the law and you take it seriously. You must make true statements, and control statements you broadcast made by others. In contrast, newspapers are not licensed. As the role and financial prospects of print media diminish, broadcasters fill the void— the so-called digital convergence.
And now, your reach is, virtually, worldwide. Here we are.
So, you have to be mindful. You committed an error and made a correction; the falsity just disappeared. But another mistake still exists. Your website states, incorrectly, "If your credit has taken a hit, you can rebuilt it."
Daybreak Staff. (2016, April 21). Credit explained: Understanding how to improve your credit score. Retrieved April 24, 2016, from http://www.ktva.com/credit-explained-understanding-how-to-improve-your-credit-score-386/
That is obvious, but other false information is not.
In the on-air report seen on that page, with no challenge, your interviewee, an employee of a gargantuan company named Wells Fargo, says: "It's important to know your credit score. You can go to annualcreditreport.com and get a free credit score."
That is false information. Wells Fargo, itself states, "Please note that your free annual credit report does not automatically include a credit score." https://www.wellsfargo.com/financial-education/basic-finances/build-the-future/cash-credit/credit-score-report/
And, it being important to know any credit score is debatable.
Further, the U.S. Consumer Financial Protection Bureau states, "Your free credit report does not include a credit score."
Also, see "Why don't my free credit reports include credit scores?" on annualcreditreport.com, itself (click on "All about credit reports," then "What is a credit report?").
Consumer reporting agency Experian states, "Credit scores are not included in credit reports." http://www.experian.com/blogs/ask-experian/2015/06/01/credit-scores-are-not-included-in-credit-reports/
Your state's (n549) website states, "Your credit score is calculated based on information contained in your credit report, but is not part of your credit report." http://www.law.alaska.gov/department/civil/consumer/credit.html#reports
One of your broadcasters even introduced her guest by saying that she was there to "debunk 4 credit score myths."
So, as it turns out, you cannot get a free credit score from annualcreditreport.com. Yes, that seems strange and, perhaps, if I may suggest, worthy of investigation and a report provided to your community (the world). A point of departure: "Well, again, what scores?"
Ignore the harumph. 1999 was another millennia and that consumer reporting industry representative's incredulity was dismissed. The CRAs don't know everything about everything.
Wells Fargo (who, interestingly, holds national bank Charter No. 1) also states, "A good credit score – as part of your overall report – can impact your interest rates on loans, car insurance rates, the deposit you put down on an apartment, and possibly your eligibility for a job." https://www.wellsfargo.com/goals-going-to-college/credit-options/
The name of the person who wrote that is anybody's guess. But the name of the top person of Wells Fargo is John Stumpf. I'm going to say that that unknown author is not as experienced as you might think. As broadcasters, you understand the value of sounding authoritative as you mispronounce a word. Sometimes you can get away with it (or, at least think you do (while viewers giggle)).
Employers do not use credit scores. I looked into it and published what I found eight years ago.
However, your state's website states, "Your credit score (also called your credit rating) is important because it affects your financial opportunities such as buying a home and getting a job."
As an aside, regarding the notion that rating is synonymous with score, see this item I wrote about Wells Fargo and the confluence of influence where industry, media and government meet: "Not Too Big to Let Fail: Wells Fargo (on credit scores in employment)."
Similarly confounding is a statement by Prabal Chakrabarti, an officer at the Federal Reserve Bank of Boston (n191301). He writes, "But given the prominence that credit scores have taken on, including with employers conducting credit checks or landlords evaluating a tenant, borrowers should be aware that in the future, even if they make every payment on time and follow all the rules of the program, they may be punished by lenders for their participation."
Chakrabarti, P. (2010). How Loan Modifications Affect Credit Scores. Communities & Banking, 21(4), 25-27. Retrieved April 25, 2016, from http://www.bostonfed.org/commdev/c&b/2010/fall/fall10.pdf
Neither he nor you state state, specifically, that employers use credit scores. Please get a clarification from the top person, provincially speaking, your governor. I think that—with your influence—you are in a good position to do so. http://www.law.alaska.gov/department/civil/consumer/credit.html#reports
The same state document contains false information. There is no such thing as Trans Union. The Chicago CRA's name is one word, not two. It was changed (again) sometime prior to 2007. http://www.creditscoring.com/news/2006.htm#lawsuit
Unfortunately, the top person of the of the Federal Reserve Bank of Boston, Eric S. Rosengren, president and chief executive officer presides over absolutely false information: The link on a picture of that magazine edition leads to the wrong issue.
When I called the telephone number listed for "Editor," I got a message that bureaucratically states, "The person you are trying to reach does not have a valid voicemail box on our system. Goodbye. [CLICK]"
Overtly, the Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas falsely states
The information in your credit report is used to create your credit score. (For a small fee, you can get your credit score from any of the three credit reporting companies or from www.myFICO.com.) Employers, insurance companies, potential landlords, banks and other lenders use credit scores. The higher your score, the less risk you represent to the lender.
This is a numbers racket and here is the score: 1,000 points of falsity vs. one of truth.
Speaking of things-Fargo/challenging-television-licenses, I had a conversation with the news director of a Fargo television station. It did not go as well as ours, but that is understandable considering how utterly ridiculous his report is. I can think of a few things that would comprise a risk score in my country, the United States of America, before juvenile social media data: Bank account balances, length of employment, income and history of debt account balances, to name a few. #1510J
I could go on all day–and intend to do so. Nobody expects perfection, but responsiveness and reasonable efforts are your duty. Truth is important.
I found your item in a Google News search. #olds