Tuesday, December 06, 2011

Does the FICO score really monopolize the credit world?


Lynn Parramore has a big article on AlterNet on the Fair Isaacs FICO Score, “Are you held hostage by bad credit? The hidden truth behind the shady credit agencies that can ruin your life”, link here.

Now, “ruin your life” is a loaded phrase. I remember drill sergeants using it in Basic Training back in 1968, claiming an “Article 15” would “ruin your life”.  It wouldn’t.

When I worked for Chilton (now Experian via TRW) in Dallas in the 1980s, we had a project called “risk predictor”, extracts from credit reports fed to Fair Isaacs.  There is also a competing score called Vantage (discussion) and Sunday I discussed a new service called CoreLogic. 

But AlterNet is right to question why the responsibility to bear the burden of errors in reports should fall on consumers.  I have not had many problems; I did have a credit card hack in 1995, and in 2000 I got dinged by a debt collector for a credit card that I thought I didn’t have anymore (a debt more than ten years old).  

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