Friday May 1 | The New Credit Score

April 30, 2009 at 8:49 am | Posted in Coming Up | 14 Comments

We’ll look at how your personal information may be used against you and at a new term in credit scoring called “behavioral scoring,” where your purchases can affect your credit rating. Where you went on your last vacation, what medicines you’re buying, and what you bought at the grocery store are all up for grabs. Find out how this information becomes public property, how companies are using it, and how you can protect your information.
Dr. Bjarne Berg– Asst. Prof. Computer Science & Mathematics Lenoir Rhyne University

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  1. NO, no, no, no, NO! How is it anybody’s business HOW I spend my money, so long as I pay my bills on time? This is an incredibly intrusive idea that chips away at our freedoms! I earn the money I have by being a responsible business owner. I don’t live on food stamps or other forms of government assistance which carries the right to police what I spend that money on.

    In no way should ANYONE be able to tell me how I should spend money I earn through honest, hard work in my business, much less use that information AGAINST me when I go to apply for credit or anything else.

    This smacks of something…communism? Socialism? Profiling? If rich people want to spend their money on diamonds and fancy vacations, they have EARNED the right to do so. If a poor family wants to treat themselves to McDonald’s french fries once a month, and needs to use the credit card (which they faithfully pay either the minimum or pay off per the CC companies terms) to do it, then that’s their right, too.

    I do not like the “Big Brother is Watching” over-regulated, choice-inhibiting direction this country seems to be moving in…

  2. what about debit cards? the same rule apply?

  3. I think that as long as many of these services (mainly online services) are totally free, then we are at their mercy because nothing is free in this world.

    I also heard last night on ABC World News Tonight that for the first time ever, debit card transactions exceeded credit card transactions.

  4. That our society, dominated by American capitalism, has allowed the credit card industry to get to the point of making its own rules and changing them on a whim, with government turning a blind eye and practically fostering this behavior, is nothing short of a disgrace. Adding insult to injury, our tax money is bailing these companies out and their behavior isn’t changing. Capital One just doubled (more than doubled in fact) my interest rate and I cut them loose despite Ms. Goldwasser’s advice to keep the account open. My credit score is sufficiently high that I don’t care about the hit it’ll supposedly take. Only in American capitalism are consumers penalized (supposedly) by legally getting out of a bad deal; it’s tragic that businesses get away with this crap. It’s also very telling that another financial “expert” on Marketplace Money (broadcast on NPR) recently advised doing what I did. It seems no two financial “experts” agree on what’s best for us. Anyway, I hope Obama and Congress spank these bad guys hard, I hope these companies continue towards bankruptcy, and I hope they all collapse and fail in an event so spectacular it rivals a supernova explosion. I’m all for profits, but only if they come fairly.

    Oh, and I too no longer use my grocery store “loyalty” cards. Several years ago, I also started telling local merchants to take a hike when they ask for my phone number or zip code just to make a purchase. Some refused to complete the transaction, and I made a concerted effort to raise as large a commotion in public right there in the checkout line as possible before telling the manager that the email I got from their corporate headquarters said such information isn’t require to complete a transaction. One local merchant, Radio Shack, stopped the practice altogether. I’ve left quite a bit of merchandise with the cashier over not giving out my phone number. I no longer shop with merchants who ask for this information. Even the local KMart (Conover, NC) tries to get people to enter their zip code for card purchases, but ***I*** know how to bypass that on the keypad, but most people don’t (all you have to is press the “cancel” key when prompted for a zip code and you’ll next be prompted for your PIN number).

    These practices will continue only as long as WE allow them to continue.

  5. Okay part of my previous post was cut and pasted from another entry I made on an NPR board. The reference to Ms. Goldwasser is to a story on All Things Considered day before yesterday. She was supposedly a “financial expert” but gave advice that contradicted what another “financial expert” (I’m beginning to treat that as an oxymoron) gave on Marketplace (also broadcast on NPR). Sorry for the confusion…I’m at work and was in a hurry to post.

  6. THis is wrong. No one has any privacy any more. But please don’t think this has anything to do with socialism or communism. Socialism is all about fair wages, labour laws, and making sure that the greedy rich don’t . Communism is about the ideal distribution of wealth across the economic classes, ideally to help the poorest. Does this sound like something meant to help the struggling lower classes of America? I think not. This is more greed. Nasty, filthy, despicable, sinful Capitalist greed. This is same greed that had the bankers too concerned about their own commissions and incentives to care what making the sub-prime loans were going to do to our society. It’s the same greedy system that will let it happen again,because the culprits face no consequences as long as its evident that we are so yoked to the system that the taxpayers must take all the pain of bailing them out. They know they will get their bonuses and keep their jobs while we who they deem unworthy pay the price. No, it isn’t the government or “Big Brother”. It’s “Big Rich Pig”. They want to know if you spend your money on “poor people things” or “sick people things” or “lowbrow things” to make sure that you are treated like the dirt they think you are and are given fewer opportunities than the bourgeoisie. For the past eight years, we’ve had an administration that was right there with them. Hopefully things are a little different now. If you don’t like this practice with the credit card companies, don’t knock socialism. A little TRUE socialism would provide the government with the regulatory power to stop this. THe REAL socialism that everyone is so afraid of protects the people and regulates the greedy institutions, not the other way around as does Capitalism.

  7. Something else occurred to me today. There are items and services, e.g. mobile phone service, that you cannot purchase with cash; you MUST use a credit card. Don’t tell me there isn’t something fishy going on here.

  8. On this thread I see support for socialism and communism (Allison) and disdain for capitalism (Joe). At least they’re honest about it. Not to worry Joe and Allison, your dreams are coming true.

  9. Gregg: I’m glad yours are not. I’ll take socialism over butt-sniffing fascism any day. Empathy and solidarity are long overdue.

  10. Jack,

    You’re just plain mean. I won’t ask you to back up your “butt-sniffing fascism” remark. I could easily make the case that there was far more empathy and solidarity with Bush than there is now but I won’t waste my time with you. It’s pointless and you’d just look sillier than you already appear.

  11. a most interesting program

  12. *sigh* I’m NOT against capitalism. I’m against its excesses and it’s abusive nature. I’m against big corporations not paying their fair share of taxes. I’m against corporations writing the laws to their liking as they go along while government looks the other way. I’m against the credit industry deceptively luring unsuspecting people into debt they can’t handle and then putting ALL of the blame on the unsuspecting people. I could probably come up with at least a half dozen other such things. It’s laughable to hear these corporate big shots in the media blame everyone on the planet except themselves for this mess. People are, hopefully, wising up and not buying it any more. It does not follow from anything I’ve said that I am against ALL capitalism. I give local small businesses here in Hickory money by the fistfull.

    The “socialism” argument has become tiresome; no one’s buying it. Until EVERYONE crying “socialism” agrees to give up Medicare, Medicaid, Social Security, medical insurance, auto/home insurance, life insurance, police protection, fire protection, emergency medical care, water/sewer service, paved roads, electric power, and EVERYTHING ELSE paid for either totally or partially by our tax money, they’re only making themselves look silly. Too bad they can’t see that.

    Bottom line: it’s all about greed.

  13. I guess In just see the world differently. Our corporate tax rate is among the worlds highest. I wonder what a “fair share” is? To an astronomer, I suppose the sky is the limit. If corporations write laws while the government looks the other way then the problem is with government. This ones good: “credit industry deceptively luring unsuspecting people into debt they can’t handle”. I’m glad this can’t happen to me. Of coarse, I have to live within my meager means and read the fine print. I don’t see how people can be expected to do that. Poor helpless victims.

    If one says we’re becoming a Socialist nation then how does listing social programs defeat that notion? It would seem to support it. Some of the list is enumerated in the Constitution. Some are private endeavors but Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid could be called a form of Socialism. There is nothing in the Constitution about them unless one changes the intent of “general welfare”. How’d the government do with those three?

  14. Great show (Heard the recording on-line). Nice guest, but scary topic. Need more discussions like this. Is this not protected at least indirectly in the constitution? (hope so).

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