Donny just bought a bunch of credit scores. But they’re all from different companies and none of them are the same. What gives?
Donny writes, “Recently I was suckered into the whole FreeCreditReport.com thing and
signed up for ExperianDirect.com. I figured $15 a month to keep tabs on my credit would be a worthy investment and I’ve used it for awhile. Seeing that my credit score was going up, I decided to apply for a card and was accepted. The card I applied for was from Credit One Bank and included with the card was free credit monitoring. Unfortunately
the credit monitoring would take at least 60 days after the account was created to become active.
While waiting for the credit monitoring to activate, I found that Bank Of America offers it’s customers their Privacy Assist program which gets your score from all 3 credit bearus for $12 a month. I signed up for the trial to see how it compared to my ExperianDirect.com account. To my surprise, the credit score BoFA showed me was way different (and
way lower) than the score that Experian showed me. Experian gives you an option to refresh and get your latest credit report which I did so. The score remained the same for Experian.
Fast forward to today, I’ve got an updated score from Experian, the updated score from BoFA and now the score from my Credit One credit monitoring. Credit One uses Experian for their credit score which came out higher than the scores from the other 2 sites that I am using.
This leaves me confused… I’ve got 3 different credit reports, all up to date, and each one has a different credit score. Which one is right? Which one do I trust?”
Check the fine print. Did these places sell you your FICO score or your “FAKEO” score?
Was it called FICO, or was it called something like “Experian PLUS score” or “Vantage Score?” FICO is a proprietary product of the Fair Issac Corporation and it is what lenders use to determine your credit worthiness. Other companies have rolled out their own competitive credit score products which generate a score based off your credit report, but they use their own algorithms instead of Fair Issac’s. As such, the score can be different and might even be on a different scale. Some of these products are getting various degrees of traction in the market but by and large the FICO score is the one that matters. Remember, just because it’s called a credit score doesn’t mean it’s your FICO score. Caveat emptor.