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There Is No Magic in A FICO Score

Of course, they are pretty good at general predictions of credit worthiness. The problem is that you are not looking for general predictions but want to know about a specific person. Here are a few of the situations that could cause you problems if all you check is the score.

There are millions of duplicate Credit Reports in the United States. In fact, almost twice as many as there are adults in Experian alone. Many of these were caused by accident and others were intentionally created by savvy people looking to repair their credit the easy way.

How this is done is an issue for another blog. For now, consider the implications. Do you really know you are obtaining the FICO score on the person you think filled out the application?

It doesn’t really matter if you obtained the wrong report because it was intentional or accidental. What matters is that the FICO score may be very different that the one shown on the correct report.

What you need to do is figure out if what you are looking at is good. Here are a few of the Red Flags that often help distinguish between a legitimate report and one that is not valid.

Some social security numbers are fake. (See my previous blog on this subject.) Others are temporary. On a credit report they look just as good as valid numbers. Get the list from my blog on Social Security Numbers and keep it handy.

Lack of reasonable history could mean the data was only recently created. Look at former residence information. People with good credit live SOMEWHERE, and you can reasonably expect they did last year and the year before as well.

Names can be deceiving. Be aware that often relatives have about the same name. For example, John Smith, Sr., John Smith Jr. or John A. Smith and John B. Smith. In addition to these easily stolen identities, John A.Smith can establish a new identity as J. Aaron Smith.

To make sure you have the correct information, check outside the box. Call the work phone and speak to Human Resources. Do NOT ask for the Boss as the boss may have been warned. Ask for specific confirmation of the wage, hire date and correct spelling of the name. You can also call a reference and confirm old addresses.

Don’t expect much help from Criminal Reports or Eviction Reports. These are accurate, but also rely on name, address and, in some areas, social security numbers. Lack of a report does not mean the person has no report.

If you had been wondering why you haven’t been ‘lucky’ with your credit checking, you now have the tools to get much luckier. Really, these tools will make you a better decision maker.

Understanding debt collection and background screening best practices can save your business big money. Building up front applicant screening into your business processes costs you very little, but saves you so much in the end. If you haven’t already, partner with a full service debt collection and applicant screening company to guide your business to a place of security and prosperity.


Executive Credit Management is a full-service Debt Collection and Applicant Screening agency with over 20 years experience located in Central New Jersey. We provide excellent service in the following areas: Employment ScreeningBusiness Screening, and Tenant Screening. Executive Credit Management belongs to a number of Skip Tracing databases and offers services to help locate and confirm the current address of missing debtors. Other services provided are: litigation evaluation on all lawsuit decisions, improvement of the quality of the applicant data, Lawsuit Monitoring, Handling of Debtor Disputes. Executive Credit Management features the best Call Monitoring System in the Debt Collection industry.