Are you a mean, no-good jerk? Then you are more likely to have a good credit score.
According to a study released Wednesday, people with bad attitudes tend to have higher credit scores, the numbers used by lenders to determine whether to loan money and how much interest to charge. Researchers from Louisiana State University (LSU), Texas Tech University and Northern Illinois University found a link between credit scores and consumers’ personalities.
You may have heard about “Credit Educator,” a new service from credit bureau Experian that offers one-on-one credit education by phone. For a cost of $29.95, consumers can speak with a specially trained Experian representative who can answer questions about the consumer’s credit score and report.
I’ve written about the topic before for CreditCards.com (check out “Experian gets personal to teach about credit, but it’ll cost you”), but more recently discussed the topic for U.S. News & World Report’s “My Money” blog.
It’s no shock that during the devastating economic downturn, a lot of people went from good credit to bad, as job losses and foreclosures took their toll. But here’s a surprise: According to FICO data, the number of people with excellent credit didn’t fall during the recession — it grew.
“Many people seem to think that everyone’s FICO score must be down these days. However scores have moved in both directions,” says Rachel Bell, senior director of global scoring solutions for FICO.
An undisclosed number of HSBC bank customers apparently saw their credit scores briefly tumble because of a credit reporting error that occurred April 1.
This was no April Fool’s Day prank: Credit bureau Experian says an “isolated administrative error” altered the information on some HSBC customers’ credit reports. According to an MSNBC report, that “glitch” in Experian’s credit reporting “temporarily torpedoed an undisclosed number of consumers’ credit scores.” MSNBC added that HSBC customers who pay for credit monitoring services became aware of the error after they received alerts about a sudden fall in their credit scores.
Borrowers weren’t laughing.
What do my eight years of credit history, three open accounts and no missed payments equal? According to FICO, a “very good” credit score of 746.
Ahead of the holidays, FICO sent me a gift card with a promotion code that enabled me to request a free score and report from myFICO.com. (Ah, the perks of writing about credit scoring!) The “FICO standard” package (which typically costs $19.95) included information from my TransUnion credit report as well as big, bold letters declaring my TransUnion FICO score to be 746.
“Your TransUnion FICO score is very good,” the report informed me. “Your score is above the average score of U.S. consumers and demonstrates to lenders that you are a very dependable borrower.” Yes, yes I am!