You checked your credit score and found that multiple sources are showing you various numbers. What gives? Below is a brief explanation on why you’re seeing different numbers.
There are various sources
First of all, there are FICO scores, and then there are other credit scores. To determine your creditworthiness, most lenders use your FICO score, a calculation standard created in 1985 by the Fair Isaac Corporation. However, like any other tech program, the system is continually being updated. FICO is currently on Score 8 and is in the process of unrolling 9 (read about the differences here).
Your FICO score is accessible through three designated bureaus: Experian, Equifax, and TransUnion. You are entitled to a free credit report from each once a year. (To get yours, visit AnnualCreditReport.com.)
Meanwhile, there are also industry-specific FICO scores, which collect information for particular types of loans, like auto or credit cards.
However, each agency may not show you the same FICO number, as their reports on your information may be slightly different. Plus, they can have their own calculation systems showing their own numbers, such as the Equifax Credit Score. So which bureau do lenders rely on? Many consider the reports provided by all three, but you may want to ask.
Reports can have mistakes
Mistakes happen in credit reports and may be more common than you expect. Have a look at your reports and keep an eye out for anything that doesn’t look right. If there are any errors, the Federal Trade Commission explains how to dispute them here.
Happy with your credit? Check out our “Handy Preapproval Checklist” to get ready for the mortgage process.