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Legal vs. Moral vs. Fair - I’m not going to try to convince anyone of the inherent fairness of these tactics, because I’ll tell you right up front: These tactics just aren’t fair, and here’s why.

Most consumers aren’t educated to how credit scores are derived, and the purveyor of the secret FICO formulae, the mysterious Fair, Isaac & Company (NYSE: FIC), likes it that way. So, by definition, the mere act of reading this seminar puts you in a horribly unfair advantage with respect to the hordes that are terribly blind.

Even worse, those FICO scores radically — or should I say, RADICALLY, in all caps — impact how much ones pays for home mortgages, car loans, credit card interest, and even insurance premiums, among other things. Some potential employers, in fact, routinely pull credit reports in an effort to better judge the character of their applicants. What’s worse is that not everyone agrees — and certainly not all psychologists, a group I can dare to represent — that a FICO score provides a valid measure of one’s personal character. The reason: horrible stuff can happen to otherwise moral people, all of which can completely trash a heretofore decades-old pristine payment history — accidents, uncooperative health insurance adjusters, sudden unemployment, expensive litigation, divorce with unsatisfactory terms, personal tragedies of all kinds, etc.

Consider this: Credit scores, and the credit reports which underlie them, have become a kind of “Human Worth Quotient” rather than simply a flexible credit score. For example, a potential employer disqualified a divorced woman, on the basis of her credit score, even though her runaway husband left her with huge debts beyond her means. Is this moral? It may not be moral, but it’s legal. And it will be legal for the full seven years it takes for those correct but negative tradelines to naturally age off of her report. Oops, I should say, “age off of her reports” — because if she wants to confront this, she’ll need to wrangle with three (not just one) sometimes-uncooperative private companies who compile and sell those reports about her. Again, is this fair or moral? Perhaps not, depending upon your personal point of view, but one thing’s certain: It’s definitely legal.

Those of you who are reading this seminar certainly have an unfair advantage. Likewise, those of you who want to play hardball — with the ultimate goal of three clean credit bureau reports, irrespective of what’s there now — will likewise enjoy an unfair advantage when armed with the guerilla tactics described here. But, you’ll be legal. Some of these techniques are delineated by Federal statute, in fact, and I’ll say so when that’s the case. Here are some things you can do to help repair credit.

So it comes down to this: If you knew you could raise your FICO scores by 200 points and do it by breaking no laws, would you do so if you knew you weren’t being fair to other consumers? I can’t answer that for you. I will say that these private companies — i.e., the credit reporting agencies, some of the companies which use the resultant credit scores, as well as certain abusive collection agencies — are treating consumers unfairly every single day and don’t seem to worry much about it at all. Is that true of all companies and in all cases? Of course not. Credit scoring allows colorblind loan qualifications (which is, I would contend, far superior to the pre-1971 system where white men — almost exclusively — made lending decisions in accordance with their subjective whims.) My contention, however, is that the present system, in which these incredibly critical scoring formulas are kept secret and facilitated by three accident-prone privately-held credit reporting companies, is inherently unfair, inconvenient, and often immoral. They’re all legal, though.
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