I came to WorthKnowing.com upon the premise that I would be obtaining a "free" credit report and most importantly my credit score, with the promise of no 'hard inquiry' on my TU credit report. Since no transaction is truly free, I was aware that I would be exchanging some personal information which, regardless of what they claimed, would be subsquently sold or find its way to various data marketing firms. But I was cool with that. Upon completing my application I was given a credit score in the "very good" range. One clarification for Michael, WorthKnowing states that they will match you to an issuer based on your "credit score" NOT your "credit report", even though its true the credit score is compiled based on information in the credit report but as far as the creditors are concerned they will not see this unless you give them the authorization by making an application with them, whereupon they will proceed to examine your credit report which will result in a hard inquiry. Credit Scoring As I've stated previously I do not see them as being benefical to consumers and believe that all financial factors should be taken into consideration. Others look upon it differently and see it as a boon, including most of the financial industry. In fact they deem it the "most important factor". A passage from WorthKnowing.com's site puts in succintly. "A credit score is the primary element lenders utilize when evaluating a credit application. Virtually all credit decisions (i.e., bankcards, home mortages, car loans) are granted or denied based on a consumer's credit score. Credit scores are used to determine APR's, Credit Line, and annual fee. A high credit score indicates a low risk of delinquincy and commands better products. A low score indicates a higher risk of default." and "A consumer who consistently receives offers of 9.9% APR or less, or gold or platinum cards with significant reward programs, can be confident that their score is average or above average (considering their sample profile is 44 and is considered good I would surmise that this is the average). Consumers who rarely receive pre-approved offers, or who receive offers with less favorable terms such as 24.9% APR or secured cards, may have a lower credit rating." Putting teething pains and bugs aside, if the credit scores are deemed legitimate than based on this and SOLEY this score an individual would be granted (or not) credit and terms. According to the dogma of "credit scoring" this is done regardless of race, creed, age, sex, residence or other factors which could conceivably cause bias. So, under this premise of credit scoring those applicants with high scores would be receiving the best offers while those with poor scores the worst. Moreover, all those with similar scores would be offered similar products and options. No ifs, ands or buts. So goes the theory. Premise 1 Credit Scoring If I were to use myself as an example, my TU credit score would, according to WorthKnowing's charts and graphs, entitle me to qualify for cards in the very good range. Thus, I should expect to see "pre-approved" offers of two sorts: Solid: such as the Capital One Platinum, 9.9% APR, no annual fee, credit limit upwards of $10,000 Risk or Tier based by such companies as Providian who will highlight their high-end platinum one's with the best terms but cover their asses by guaranteeing nothing but a secured card, although NextCard is offering an innovative upgrade package(s) Naturally, I should receive identical "pre-approved" offers as those whose scores match mine and similar one's to those in my range, of course I would be eligible for all lower offers. That is if this premise holds true. If it turns out that those with identical or similar scores are being treated differently then we can throw premise 1 out the window and consider what other factors OTHER than the credit score are making up the creditors decision. Premise 2 Other Sources If the creditors in actual fact, use credit scores soley as a means of rejection rather than acceptance, they will be using other means of information to grant credit or even for "pre-approved" offers even to individuals with identical scores Credit Header information: The most common choice which provides such things as name, telephone number, employer, SSN and the all-important DOB and address. Based on these the creditor can use market segmentation techniques or hire the services of such companies as Micro Vision at http://www.natdecsys.com/mv.html to do it for them. And while my own segement is alright woe be it to them that live in the "wrong areas" or are the "wrong age" or have the "wrong mix", if anybody gave any credence to the malarky being pushed as to how credit scores were to bring 'equality' this is a cold slap of reality in your face for bias and racism has not only NOT gone away but has gone high tech! *For those not aware as of November 12, 2000 the CRA's will not be able to sell or otherwise provide credit header information without a permissible purpose as defined by the FCRA. So unless the CRA's are able to overturn this or at least get some sort of temporary injuction their time is running out on this extremely lucrative business and risk losing it to database marketing firms. It has been speculated that the CRA's are looking at selling credit risk scores to make up for this loss. Which is where a firm such as WorthKnowing.com comes in. Also, who is to say somewhere buried in the terms and conditions of WorthKnowing.com there 'may' be a clause which gives the authorization for all creditors, partners, affliates and even interested parties to purchase the credit header from TU (who for all we know may control WorthKnowing lock, stock and barrel and be using it as a front) from those who register on the site and in so doing circumvent the aforementioned laws. And since its not a 'hard inquiry' they'll find few who are willing to complain. I imagine with the right amount of advertising few surfers would be adverse to the opportunity to not only a receive free credit report but a most desirable free credit score, many of whom will probably think its their FICO score. The Credit Report itself: In this respect those with higher scores will have their TU report filled with promotional inquiries from prime and premium banks while those with low scores will garner the attention of the sub-prime institutions. The CRA's own marketing arms. A creditor such as Capital One may have an agreement with Equifax that as soon as an consumer has a charge-off or collection on his report than this information is provided to them. Thus the individual in question may find an unsolicted offer for a sub-prime or secured card well before he is even aware of the bad mark! Or Chase may have an agreement with Experian that they will be notified as soon as a competitor's premium card is reported on a consumer's report thus resulting in an "invitation to apply" for their own premium card. Obviously this will not be a "pre-approved" offer as they have no idea whats on the individual's report, thus you can rest assured that a promotional inquiry will be forthcoming in the very near future. The Credit Report itself: In this respect those with higher scores will have their TU report filled with promotional inquiries from prime and premium banks while those with those with low scores will garner the attention of the sub-prime institutions. In my own case these inquiries will result in "pre-approvals" only from companies who provide both prime and sub-prime cards such as Capital One, Providian and NextCard and be totally ignored by the rest. Various other databases and blacklists: With both the former and the latter their is a question as to just how accurate the information is. And while in theory the latter must follow FCRA regulations, in practice this is rarely the case (with the noted exception of ChexSystems and it took a HUGE public backlash to accomplish that). There are really no safeguards other than moral or ethical duty and the 'word' of those who are running these lists to see if the information is correct and time-relevant (I have heard cases of those who broke a lease over 20 years ago still being kept on these lists and being refused apartments over this). Based on these circumstances my credit score would be irrelevant and what offers I did receive would be based on information received from these other sources. Meaning a person could literally have a '100' credit score and still be rejected 'out of hand' because of what some blacklist "claims". Invariably, the applicant will receive a rejection letter with made up adverse reason codes and if he further questioned a CSR would receive "it was something in your credit report" lie. I feel the next three months should prove the validity and direction of the above in much clearer form.