3 FICO Scores? Why there's more than one and which one counts.
Why does TransUnion say my Equifax score is 733 when myFICO says my Equifax 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?
Las Vegas, Nevada
This is a great question and one that's been a very hot topic on our FICO® Forums. The reason you're seeing a discrepancy is because you purchased scores from two different scoring systems. The score you bought from TransUnion is their consumer version of your credit score, but it's not your FICO score. Many different websites sell credit scores to consumers, but only myFICO.com and Equifax.com sell actual FICO scores to consumers. In fact, you may be surprised to know just how many different credit scores are sold to consumers most of which are never used by lenders.
This is not to say that getting your credit scores from online vendors is a bad idea. 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 the best way for you to know what the lenders will base their terms on.
What does the difference in the two scores you pulled mean to you? Well, 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. To see how better scores translate to savings on home and auto loans, click here.
Before getting a loan for a major purchase, such as a home, you should check all three of your FICO scores. Most lenders will look at all three FICO scores one from each major credit bureau 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 real 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.
Note: this article references checking all three of your FICO scores, however, Experian FICO scores are no longer available to consumers. Experian FICO scores may still be used by lenders when evaluating a consumer's credit worthiness.
The Score That Matters®
The FICO Score is the standard credit score in the US, used in more than 90% of lending decisions.