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Friday, May 30, 2014

Credit & Data Secrets They Don't Want You to Know

Poor Man Survival

Self Reliance tools for independent minded people…


ISSN 2161-5543

A Digest of Urban Survival Resources

Since we cannot get what we like, let us like what we can get…Spanish Proverb

Your Private data is bought and sold by business to marketers and to Big Brother…

 I gave up using credit cards or any kind of credit nearly a decade ago.  Paying cash for everything, including our mini-farm has made it a slower process to achieving what I want, but even without mortgages, car loans and other debt, it is tough enough to keep up with government mandated expenses such as taxes, fees, insurances, etc.

I don’t use so-called ‘Smart phones’ and other devices which allow companies and government to track me…call me old fashioned but I sleep better at night as a result!

We all leave a trail of digital breadcrumbs. Each credit card transaction, Google search, Facebook post — It’s all information that businesses can use to predict your behavior.


Analytics companies then tally up those predictions and give you a “consumer score.”

Data brokers even sell lists of rape victims and AIDS patients, other medical problems…

You likely know about your credit score -- that key measure that influences everything from your monthly car payment to your ability to buy a home. But there are dozens of other consumer scores that are impacting your daily life that you have no idea about.

Data brokers, analytics firms and retailers are creating hundreds of "secret" consumer scores that rank you on everything from the likelihood you will keep your job to how likely you are to commit fraud, according to a report released Wednesday by nonprofit World Privacy Forum.

Marketers, financial institutions, wireless phone service providers, law enforcement agencies and others use these scores to do everything from promoting new products to investigating crimes.

Yet, while these consumer scores are pervasive, most consumers don't know they exist. Rarely are they able to view their scores, find out how they are compiled or used or correct inaccuracies like they can on a credit report, the World Privacy Forum found.

Related: What information is the government buying about you?


Common Credit Misconceptions

Most of us aren’t clueless about credit scores, but we may be making costly mistakes. A recent annual survey by Consumer Federation of America and VantageScore Solutions about consumer credit knowledge found that a “large majority of Americans know a great deal about credit scores.”

But it also identified some common misconceptions about credit that often trip people up. Here are three of them.

1. How Inquiries Really Work

When someone requests your credit report, or a credit score generated from your credit report data, an inquiry is created on that credit report. Multiple recent inquiries may cause your credit scores to drop. But there are different types of inquiries, and some don’t affect your scores at all.

According to the credit knowledge survey, only 7% of respondents knew that multiple inquiries will not lower one’s FICO or VantageScore credit score if those inquiries are made during a one- to two-week window.

In the case of FICO scores, inquiries from auto loan, mortgage or student loan applications are counted as a single inquiry if they occur in a two-week or 45-day period (the exact time period depends on which version of the FICO model is used). In the case of the VantageScore, there is a rolling two-week period in which any inquiry of a specific type is counted as one. (Unlike the FICO model, this one also applies to credit card-related inquiries).


28 Credit Secrets They Don’t Want You to Know-Free from the Poor Man Survivor crew!


Who’s Looking at Your Credit Scores

In the credit knowledge survey, consumers were asked which of the following six types of businesses might use credit scores:

  • Credit card issuer
  • Mortgage lender
  • Landlord
  • Home insurer
  • Cellphone company
  • Electric utility

Only 18% of millennials, and 32% of older consumers, correctly identified the fact that all six of these businesses may check credit. While most consumers understand that credit card companies and mortgage lenders use credit scores, fewer understand that utility or cellphone companies may run credit checks, usually to determine whether prospective customers must pay a deposit. (Cable companies also check credit to decide whether to collect a deposit.)

3. The Money You Can Save With Good Credit

No doubt you’ve heard that a good credit score can save you money. But it’s easy to underestimate how large that amount can be.  More at:

Why does your credit score change so much…

If you monitor your credit score, you may be like this reader — scratching your head wondering why it changes so much.


Resources you might find useful…

Get Out of Debt, Get Prosperous, Get Independent



Your Personal Recordkeeper software from Nolo Press



Becoming a Chief Home Officer



Yours in freedom,

Bruce ‘the Poor Man’


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