Today, we’re answering a great question from a reader! Why are credit scores different on different sites? As you’re working to improve your credit and raise your credit score, you may be asking: why is my FICO score different from TransUnion? It certainly doesn’t make sense that your credit score would be different on different websites, but it’s happening to you, and you’re frustrated. Let’s discuss!
Dear InCreditable Advisors,
Why does TransUnion say my credit score is 733 when myFICO says my TransUnion score is 689? I pulled both scores on the same day. Both credit reports contain the same information. Which score is right, and which one are lenders going to use?
Why Are My TransUnion and FICO Scores Different?
This has become a hot topic! We meet daily with consumers who are interested in understanding their real scores, and this confusion isn’t helping matters. The simplest answer is this: different credit scoring systems actually produce different results. You’ll get a different FICO score depending on where you purchase your score. After today, you’ll be sure you’re purchasing the correct one.
Not All Websites Sell Scores Used by Lenders
Many different websites will sell credit scores to consumers, but most of these are never used by lenders. In your case, Heather, the score you bought from TransUnion is their consumer version of your credit score, but it’s not your real FICO score. Only myFICO.com is the source for direct consumer access to FICO scores used by lenders. Surprising, right? That’s what we’re here for; to help you access the best information.
Why Do We Need a FICO Score At All?
At first, it can seem like needless red tape. Why not let each credit bureau determine and provide your score on their own? Why should we now be looking for this new, separate assessment? In short, it’s to protect you as the consumer. Fair Isaac Corporation (FICO) created the FICO score about thirty years ago in order to ensure that credit was being scored consistently and equitably. Previously, there were no rules to determine how scores were calculated, and sometimes things like gender or political affiliation were thrown in the mix. It was difficult to be sure of a level playing field.
Should You Avoid Getting Credit Scores Online?
This is not to say that getting your credit scores from online vendors is a bad idea. Even if they’re not the actual FICO score, checking your credit scores from a trusted seller can often serve as a guide for pointing you in the right direction.
If you pull your credit score from a reputable source and find that you have a very high score, then more often than not, you’ll have a good FICO score as well. Just be sure to check your actual FICO score before applying for a loan – this is what lenders will use to determine your rates.
In your case, Heather, don’t demand a lender’s best rates based on your TransUnion credit score of 733! Your FICO score of 689 is the score you should be basing your expectations on. Generally, a FICO score above 720 will qualify you for good rates on most loans. In the meantime, you can begin taking steps to raise your score.
How Often Should I Check My FICO Scores?
Before getting a loan for a major purchase, such as a home, you should check all three of your FICO scores – from each major credit bureau. MyFICO.com is the only place where consumers can access all three FICO Scores based on Equifax, Experian and TransUnion data. Most lenders will look at all three FICO scores when evaluating your loan application. At that point, don’t try to save a few dollars by buying the cheapest credit score you can find. Knowing your FICO scores can help you estimate what your monthly mortgage payments will look like and help you determine if you can truly afford a home.
We know credit scores can be confusing enough without having to figure out if you’re buying a FICO score. Many credit scores even try to mimic the FICO score range so they look very similar to FICO scores. Remember that FICO scores always say “FICO” when describing the score. We hope this helps you make sense of your credit scoring options.
For more information please visit us at https://creditexperts.io/ and book an appointment today. We are Indianapolis’s only Licensed, Bonded & Insured full service credit consulting company, InCreditable Advisors, give us a call today and let us help you improve your credit at 317-202-1297 to schedule your appointment today.