Quartz Obsession Podcast

Credit score: Numbers might lie

In a global economy that runs on debt, the credit score system works... until it doesn't

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Credit score: Numbers might lie
Graphic: Vicky Leta

In many parts of the world, you’ve got a number attached to your name, and the value of that number acts as a gatekeeper between you and the things you want and need. Credit scores are determined by complicated math done by private companies so that other private companies can decide if they’ll lend to you, and if so how much, and at what rate. With a long history of bias and intractability, and in a global economy that runs on debt, the credit score system works…until it doesn’t. Read the full transcript here.

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Annalisa Merelli is the host of season 4 of the Quartz Obsession podcast, and a senior reporter covering the intersection of inequality and healthcare. She is obsessed with romantic comedies, interspecies friendships, and having strong opinions about the way you make Italian food.

Scott Nover is a Quartz reporter covering the business of the internet. He is obsessed with TikTok, fantasy football, and The Real Housewives of Salt Lake City.


Show notes


Code of Hammurabi

Fair Credit Reporting Act of 1970

Equal Credit Opportunity Act of 1974

This episode uses the following sounds from freesound.org and incompetech.com:

Airplane, Seatbelt Sign Beep by Kinoton

Airport Ambiance.wav by exert.com.au ()

Cash Register by kiddpark

Limit 70 by Kevin McLeod