Few things entertain me more than press releases from data cartels.
This past September, Experian released its third annual State of Credit report (eye roll), the cover of which boldly lists the top 10 cities with the highest and lowest credit scores. Then a few days ago, not to be outdone, Trans Union released a separate report which claimed to reveal the U.S. Metro Areas with the highest and lowest credit scores.
The problem is that the two lists don’t match, even though both claim to be based on Vantage Scores (the credit score jointly developed by Experian and Trans Union to fight the draconian dominance of another data cartel—the FICO score).
My favorite discrepancy, for pure irony if nothing else, is how the two reports present Las Vegas. The Experian report glorifies Las Vegas for being the “most improved” city with an average Vantage score of 714, while the Trans Union report frowns on the Las Vegas-Paradise metro area for having an average Vantage score of only 650, the sixth-lowest average in the whole country.
I guess the Trans Union statisticians don’t follow the Experian statisticians on Twitter. Or maybe the issue is the tiny footnote in the Experian report explaining that (despite having access to tens of millions of credit files) its data are based on a measly sample size of “less than 1000.”