A few more than one. If you include the three CRAs, there are well over 100 although most of the credit acquisition applications use one of about a dozen for each CRA. EX is fairly tight with their info. TU is more clear and they provide 51 different credit scores to commercial customers plus a couple to consumers. About 30 of the 51 are credit acquisition scores designed for new credit. Examples of non-credit acquisition scores are some of them are for insurance applications. Some are designed to run a score against existing customers to determine if the lender wants to keep the customer. Some are designed for a CA to determine if they want to buy a person's delinquest account.
If you mean "banks" for a typical mortgage, then it is easy. They will use the FICO 04 Classic versions from each CRA:
EQ Beacon v5.0 as sold here.
TU FICO Classic 04, one version later than the TU 98 Classic sold here.
EX FICO II, which is not available to consumers unless you belong to a couple CUs that provide it.
This is for any mortgage that is FHA, VA, USDA, guaranteed by Fannie, Freddie, etc. Also any that will be resold. If it is a Jumbo, Private, or a traditional bank that retains the mortgage then they can use something different. As is typical, we have been cheated by a bunch of new legislation designed to bring "fairness" to the system by depriving the lenders of using better scoring models so that everything is "equal". If the bank is loaning its own money, it will want to use a better system.
A bank that taking a app for a CC or Auto will likely use an Industry Enhanced version of one of the above. A fair number of those will use scores based on FICO 8. CUs and some banks use the Classic version althought FICO 8 no longer uses that name for the generic version. Many banks will use Industry Enhanced Versions. CC lenders seem to commonly use CC Industry Versions. The Industry versions are designed to qualify more people for just those type of loans. Many lenders use their own score, which is usually one of the standard ones with an additional scorecard which modifies the standard according to additional parameters.
Hmmm. This is confusing!! How would I go about getting my credit report from all 3 agencies that would be the same as what banks use? Isn' there one standard for banks?
The credit report is the credit report is the credit report.
Credit scores though, there's a dizzying array of them honestly, and we as consumers can't even obtain all the ones the banks use. As GregB points out, not a single FAKO score will be used by lenders (one of the reasons they're labelled that) for underwriting decisions. To be honest, the best barometer of your actual FICO score that lenders use is the Equifax score found here in my opinion, or in a few other places. It is identically the score you would receive if applying for a mortgage currently.
IIRC the Heloc might be considered revolving if it's under a certain amount, which is commonly accepted to be ~35K; I would still check the real report though but generally CK/CS/etc do take their account interpretations right off the actual credit report.
As Greg intimates, never, ever take the advice of the various FAKO purveyors, Credit Karma, Credit Sesame, etc. I strongly recommend reading this forum for what actually matters as far as FICO scores and advice as it's one of the best resources available.
The credit report is the credit report is the credit report.
Mostly yes. The DATA is the DATA is the DATA. However, the Score & Report can display that data in different formats and even catagorize it differently. It can show a HELOC as Revolving, Installment, or Mortgage. One version of FICO from EX could include the HELOC as revolving if it is under $25K and another FICO version could call it Revolving if it is under $50K. My recollection is that HELOCs change from Revolving to Mortgage accounts at different dollar amounts depending on the CRA for the FICO 04 Classic. Obviously, the score was created by Fair Issac but each CRA made minor changes to it. This also explains why the actual score range for those three scores is slightly different.
I was comfortable guessing that it would not be included in Revolving at the high amount for the OP.
Good point Greg. Thanks
But if Experian is only one CRA and they use the data, which cannot change, to determine the score, then why would they call my HELOC at nearly 900,000 a revolving debt? And, why would Equifax also call it revolving? Regardless of who provides the report to me, wouldn't the data, and hence how it shows on the report, be the same? It makes no sense since the three CRA's are who they are. They don't display data differently based on who gives me my report. The data all three have do have some differences in how they show, but essentially they differences are display-related. The money owed, balances due, open vs. closed, etc. is all the same for all three CRA's.
It is probably best to think of each CRA as being completely separate. I think you already understand that.
It is probably also best to think of the repository of credit data and the score/report generation procedure as being separate within each CRA. The data is the data is the data because the repository is the same. It is only changed when something changes the data, normally though electronic updates from the lenders, etc. that have accounts with the CRA.
Your statement about the reports being the same regardless comes closest to being true when you get your annual free report directly from each CRA. They show more info than any other reports and they don't catagorize. My small HELOC shows as "Home Equity" on these reports, which does not fit the catagories of Mortgage, Revolving, Installment. My Home Depot Consumer and my Kohls cards say "Charge Card" even though it fits into Revolving on every report I've seen since a crazy person could revolve a balance at their 25+% if they wanted. Auto loans say "Auto Loan" even though most reports include those in Installment. Business Cards that report to personal credit say "Business Card".
I have some old tri-merge reports, which means they are supposedly using the same report type with data from all three CRAs that show the same HELOC as "Home Equity" from two and "Real Estate Secured" from the third.
The reports that you or a lender purchase are created by a system that pulls data from the repository, catagorizes the data, and runs it through a scoring algorithm. The system might be created by Fair Issac according to FICO Classic 04 but it has some minor features for each CRA.
I think most people would agree that a HELOC is unique and does not fit the catagories of Revolving, Installment, or Mortgage. When it is small, it fits best with Revolving but when it is large it is more like a Mortgage. The EX Plus aka Experian Credit Score is poor in many ways and it catagorizing you huge HELOC like a CC is one example. That is one example why no lenders would use it. Fair Issac seems to have the best ideas to qualify borrowers and that is why most credit acquisition scores are based on FICO scores. Even when the three CRAs worked together to create the Vantage scores, they have some pretty poor results.
I would be totally shocked if any FICO report using FICO 98 or later includes your HELOC as Revolving in calculations. It might state Revolving in the loan details but if you look at the totals on the "credit at a glance" page you will see it is in Mortgages. This is where you will see other differences such as where personal/business CCs, large limit cards, etc. may not fit the normal catagories.
I think you are looking at reports that are the consumer reports. Best example of a real report and score is the EQ FICO sold here. TU FICO is poor by comparison since it is older version but it is still vastly better than the "educational scores". EX has many strong points but the Plus Score is poor. I think their monitoring of your reports is generally the best just ignore the scores.
Assuming that the data is the data as you say, and the score is essentially calculated from the data, and various factors affect the score in the same way regardless of who generates the report,... then would I be correct in assuming that with roughly 1 million dollars of credit, 900,000 in a HELOC and 100,000 in CC's, and all maxed out, even if I paid all my CC's down to zero, with still 90% of my credit being used, I should not expect any increase in my score? I believe this is my situation because regardless of how the HELOC shows, as long as 90% of my total credit is being used, then going from 643 to in the 700's seems impossible.
I would not assume that is correct.
The Plus score is way off with your HELOC. "Real" credit scores are likely to use that HELOC very differently in their algorithm.
The big variable is how "Real" credit scores will handle the 90% util on actual Revolving accounts.
You won't know where you are until you get a score that is the same or similar to the one your lender will use. What is the application?
I can tell you that FICO scores will be heavily affected by reducing your actual Revolving credit. I'm not sure about the non-FICO scores that may be used by some lenders like New Account Model versions, etc. A big loan will almost certainly use some FICO algorithm.
Then clearly I need to see reports and scores from all 3 agencies that are the closest to what the banks will use. There have been 2 recommendations offered here. One is to use look at the reports from this website. People in this forum have said that the Experian score offered here is pretty accurate, but that the others are not as accurate. Others have said that contacting the 3 agencies directly will give me the closest idea of what the banks will see and use when they consider taking over my existing bank loan. So, I guess my final question is what is your best opinion of what I should do to get the most accurate reports and scores? (And if links or contact info is available it would be GREATLY appreciated!) It seems borderline illegal to not have access to the same information about me that the bank will have, but apparently it is not illegal, just inconceivable.
Don't confuse EQ=Equifax and EX=Experian.
You need to see reports from all three to know that the accounts are similar on all three CRAs. Assuming they are similar then the only really worthwhile credit score available to all consumers is the EQ FICO sold here.
You haven't answered the question about what type of loan application yet. IF it is a mortgage then the EQ FICO here is exactly what would be pulled for a typical mortgage. You refer to "taking over existing bank loan" so I'm assuming it is a new mortgage application. Large mortgages can have some different rules. Conforming loan limit in high cost areas is $729,950.
The TU and EX score version used on a typical mortgage will not be available to you. The TU FICO sold here is one major revision earlier but might still be worth $20 for you. EX doesn't offer the EX FICO II used on a mortgage to consumers anymore. A few CUs offer it to their customers.
Edited to add: There was a website that looked like it might off all three "mortgage" scores to consumers a year or two ago. They weren't able to get it going and people were shocked when they found out a years worth of monthly scores was going to cost them around $400 or so.