There are different places to check your credit score. This three-digit number is an important indicator of your financial responsibility. A complicating factor is that you can have different credit scores, depending on where you look. Your credit is constantly being evaluated by the main credit bureaus—TransUnion, Experian, and Equifax, and there are different credit scoring models used, including FICO and VantageScore.
It’s normal for credit scores to vary. However, there are different reasons you may find differences from one score to another. We will take a look at a few of these here.
How Can My Credit Scores Vary?
Each credit bureau has a different way of calculating your credit score. The information the credit reporting agencies collect, such as payment history, age of your accounts, and balances, can overlap. Your information should be the same everywhere, right? However, there are a few reasons why your credit scores can differ.
- Different Credit Scoring Models: The two main models include your FICO score, which was introduced by Fair Isaac Corporation in 1989. Previously, banks and lenders each had their own method of assessing risk; today, the company offers 28 different scores for credit card, automobile lending, and mortgage loan decisions. There are different versions of the FICO score, the most recent being FICO 9. In 2006, the three credit bureaus created VantageScore Solutions, an independent firm with its own credit scoring model. The latest version as of this article is VantageScore 4.0.
- Dates Accessed: Your credit activity may vary from time to time, and the dates a bureau updates your information may as well. For example, you might have recently missed a credit card payment; a creditor may have not yet reported the information, or your credit score has yet to be updated to reflect the default.
- Credit Score Version: Credit score versions are broken into a couple of different types. Base scores indicate the likelihood you’ll repay any credit obligation. They show your general responsibility as a borrower. Industry-specific scores, such as the FICO® Auto Score 9, predict the odds you’ll repay a certain type of loan; in this case, your odds of fulfilling your auto loan obligation.
- Credit Reporting Errors: If there’s an error on one bureau’s credit report and not another, it can reflect a lower score with that bureau. Such errors should be disputed with the respective bureau immediately. When corrected, incorrect information will not reflect on your credit score, allowing it to be more accurate.
- Information Sent to Bureaus: There are no hard rules for lenders to send your information to all three bureaus, or any at all. A lender may send information to one bureau and not another. Therefore, not every bureau will have the same information, which can also cause your scores to vary.
What Is the Credit Score Rating Scale?
In general, credit scores are calculated in the range of 300 to 850. If your score is above 600, it is typically considered good, while the national average is 695. However, a particular lender’s definition of a “good” credit score can vary from another’s. This perspective may also vary with the type of product, for example, a credit card versus an auto loan or mortgage. For the majority of lending decisions, the industry standard is the FICO score.
Contact American Credit
If you’ve noticed one credit score differs dramatically from another, and find negative and/or erroneous information on your credit report, contact American Credit. We specialize in credit repair using a pre-litigation process to boost your credit score. Our team works directly with lenders, loan officers, banks, mortgage offices, and other financial institutions in Los Angeles, Santa Monica, and elsewhere in Southern California. To learn more about our credit repair service, call 855-213-4043 for your free credit consultation today.