Getting Different Credit Scores

I received a credit score from another service and it was different. Why is that?

Different Companies Providing Credit Scores

Getting Different Credit ScoresCredit scores are mostly referred to as FICO scores, however, the truth is there are several companies out there that can give out your specific scores. Each company can have their own version of your credit score, so that makes it more confusing on which score to believe in. Companies and lenders do not report to all credit bureaus, that’s why one score can be different from another. There are many score-giving models, yet they can be correlated but they all have one aim: to tell you how you fare and how your credit standing is.

Different Score-giving Companies Available:

  1. PLUS Score – This score is developed and provided by Experian Decision Analytics. PLUS is actually an acronym which stands for Plan, Live, Understand, Succeed. Ranging from 330 to 830, this is Experian’s (the credit bureau) own scoring system, and it’s described as an “educational score” for consumers. Lenders and creditors do not use this score.
  2. VantageScore – This is a generic scoring model developed by the three credit bureaus (Experian, Equifax and TransUnion) to compete with FICO. It ranges from 501-990, and has an equivalent letter grade according to how your score is. It claims to profile thin-file consumers (consumers with a short or limited credit history) more accurately, and is based mainly on a consumer’s actions on the credit file for the last 24 months.
  3. FICO – This is the score most creditors rely on, and is the most important score to take note of. This score ranges from 300 to 850, and is calculated statistically based on information of a consumer’s credit files. This is also the most widely used credit score sold and provided by the Fair Isaac Corporation (FICO).
    – Under the FICO Company, there is also another score model being given out, which is:
  4. FICO NextGen Score – Also developed by FICO, it is used to assess consumer credit risk. It is said to be a “major improvement” as it makes credit more available to people who need it. FICO NextGen Score ranges between 150 and 950.
    – Aside from the previously named scoring models, there are also other systems available however rarely used and relied on by consumers such as:
  5. TransUnion TransRisk Account Credit Score – This is a scoring model mainly developed by TransUnion and is being used by free score providers such as Credit Karma. Its scoring range is a number between 300 and 900. It also has a different range for home and auto loans which is a range between 150 and 950.
  6. Equifax Score Power / Equifax Credit Score – This score model is not based on a different scoring system. It is a name used by Equifax to describe the score that is generated by Equifax on their credit reports. Scores generated by Equifax range from 280 to 850, and can be used to calculate a score also for other credit bureaus.

All score models aim to show how consumers can be responsible for their debts. It can indicate how a borrower can be trusted in terms of lending money, or for granting them loans. However, since score models are given out and developed by different companies, it will be expected for them to have different results. Regardless of the credit score model being used, all of them serve the same purpose: to be used by creditors and lenders to base their decision whether to give you credit, and afterwards use them to determine the rates that will be given to you for payment.