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Why are my credit scores different?

Several factors can contribute to receiving different credit scores from the three major credit-reporting agencies (Equifax®, Experian®, and TransUnion®). Here are some common scenarios:

Different scoring models: Numerous credit-scoring models exist, each with its own methodology for calculating scores, which can result in variations.

Varied credit reports: Lenders may report to one, two, or all three major credit agencies, leading to discrepancies in the information used to calculate scores.

Scores from different dates: Since credit scores are dynamic and can change frequently, it’s important to compare scores from the same date for accurate assessment.

We recommend regularly checking your credit reports for errors that could impact your scores. You can access your Equifax and TransUnion reports for free on Credit Karma and your Experian report on AnnualCreditReport.com.

What is a FICO® score?

The introduction of the FICO Score by the Fair Isaac Corporation in 1989 aimed to standardize credit assessment. FICO Scores analyze data from credit reports to generate scores used by lenders for various lending decisions.

Why Do My FICO Credit Scores Differ?

Despite being from the same company, FICO credit scores can vary due to several reasons:

Different scoring models: FICO periodically updates its scoring models to cater to specific lending sectors like credit cards, mortgages, or auto loans, resulting in multiple versions of FICO Scores.

Weighted factors: Each FICO Score version assigns different weights to factors like missed payments or loan defaults based on the lending context, leading to score variations.

Credit Reporting Agencies: Although scores may differ, they all rely on information provided by credit-reporting agencies. Hence, focusing on maintaining accurate credit reports can positively impact scores across the board.

How is FICO different from VantageScore?

VantageScore is another prominent scoring model created jointly by the major credit bureaus. While both models assess creditworthiness, they may prioritize factors differently, resulting in score variations.

Understanding Credit Score Ranges

Credit scores typically range from 300 to 850, with higher scores indicating better creditworthiness. Higher scores improve the likelihood of approval for credit cards or loans with favorable terms such as lower interest rates and fees.

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