The Importance of Different Credit ScoresPosted by Cap on July 7, 2005 |
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To make things more clear, the credit score I’m talking about are FICO scores, the scoring system that the majority of lenders use to determine your credit worthiness. There are a lot of credit “scores” offered in the market, so its important to distinguish between real FICO scores and FAKO scores (a term online credit forum users use to describe fake credit scores).
Many factors account for the different credit scores; each agency gathers their consumer credit information differently; each of your creditor may report to different agencies; and balances are sometimes updated on different dates. At times, you may find that a particular agency does not even have a particular account shown on the credit report.
Here’s an example. Let’s say you have a credit card account from Chase. You’ve had this card for over 15 years, and have never paid late. This of course is a positive credit history. The funny part is, the account is only reported on your TransUnion and Experian report, but not your Equifax report.
This difference explains a bit why your FICO score from TransUnion is 750, the score from Experian is 770, while the score from Equifax is a lower 680. (FICO scores are on a scale of 300-850).
Now if you apply for a loan from a creditor, you get a better chance of approval, if they pull your Experian or TransUnion report, instead of your Equifax report. This is why its important to change these differences when necessary.
The difference in my FICO score
You can also take advantage of difference in credit scores. Let’s say you have a negative of a miss-payment in your Equifax and Experian report. For whatever reason, this negative is not shown on your TransUnion report. If you’re looking to apply for a credit card, it will be best to avoid a creditor that pulls Equifax or Experian.
There are numerous resources online which shows what agency a creditor pulls, and in which region. Previously located at a Yahoo Group message board, you can now to go Creditboard’s Creditpulls database to search for various type of credit that creditors pull before they approve your credit application.
Some creditor pulls from solely one agency, while others pull from two or all three. These are some of the major reasons why you should check your credit report, and change any mistakes or differences as necessary. This is especially true if you’re about to apply for a large loan soon (mortgage or auto). You should check your reports 6 months before a large purchase to give yourself time to fix and update your credit reports.
Remember that we can all request at least one free report from each agency annually. We can also request report when we are denied credit. These days, checking your credit has been made much easier via online services, so you should utilize them as much as possible. (Especially the free ones)
Here are some useful links:
- www.annualcreditreport.com – Free credit report from each agency.
- www.experian.com – You can request a free report from Experian online if you have been recently denied credit. You can also dispute information online. You can view the report for 30 days, and its updated daily!
- www.transunion.com – You can also request a free report from TransUnion online if you have been recently denied credit. You can also dispute information online.
- www.equifax.com – Although you can request a free report, if I recall correctly, Equifax does not provide the report online. You can also dispute the information online.
When you dispute information, you are entitled to an updated free report to reflect the changes. Equifax is the only one that sends an excerpted report change. Talk about being cheap.
- www.equifax.com – You can track your real FICO score here.
- www.myfico.com – You can purchase your FICO score here. This is one of the few places to get your real FICO score.
- www.creditboards.com – Need credit improvement help? This online message forum contains a vast bank of information. You should of course apply them with care, as not all advice may be suitable for your particular situation.
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