05-19-2017 10:42 AM
The number of FICO credit score versions makes me delirious. I'm not sure which ones to focus on to obtain my financial goals as every lender appears to use a different version. Currently my scores for FICO 8 are: 640, 649, and 638. However, my credit union uses some other FICO version and shows my score as 563. Nationstar shows my score as 634. Obviously, the credit union and Nationstar are using two separate versions. I would like to refinance my high interest car loan within the next few months (ideally, through my credit union) and also apply for a home equity loan or HELOC to repair my roof, chimney, and make some updates if at all possible. My current credit utilization is at 41% and I had a collection account that I paid off today, and another c/o account that I just settled today (these were all reported w/in the last few months). Will decreasing my credit card balances have a positive effect on all FICO versions? The amount of information I've found online makes my head spin. Thanks!
05-19-2017 11:22 AM
In broad strokes yes, but the thresholds may be different (at 41% aggregate to my knowledge you aren't optimal from any score model's perspective) and the amount gained may be different, and if we're talking scores outside the traditional FICO realm it's impossible to state but I feel pretty comfortable in suggesting non-trivial utilization is not a good thing on any financial risk analysis.
It is too complicated unfortunately, just focus on optimizing your file as a pretty file will result in a pretty score regardless of which one the lender picks.
05-19-2017 12:26 PM
Great response by Revelate.
Can you pay all your cards to $0 except one, with the remaing card showing a small balance (like $20 say)? If so, that should definitely be your next step. As R explains, that will help all FCIO scores regardless of version. And it will help you a solid amount. Once you have your score optimized with respect to CC balances you can think about other steps.
BTW, have you pulled your credit reports? (Those are different from your scores.) If so, when did you do that and with which bureaus? One thing you need to be doing is getting familiar with those and figuring ut if you have any derogs on them (as you may very well have).
You should consider calling both your CU and NationStar and asking them to tell you more about the scoring model that they used to produce your score and what bureau they drew your score on. Be patient with the customer service rep, who may not know, and who may even given you an erroneous answer. CSRs can often be mistaken about this stuff, so it is sometimes worth reaching out twice just to confirm the answer with a different CSR.
Remember that the model might not even be a FICO model, and if it is you'll need to know the version number and the Flavor (is it the "classic"? the auto enhanced? the bankcard enhanced?).
05-19-2017 12:44 PM
Thanks for the info, Nationstar says it uses Fico4 based on Transunion data, however, the credit union doesn't specify which form they use, just state its a FicoScore. Also, CapitalOne echos the score my credit union has at 563 and states its a vantagescore....I'm going to pay down or off as many as possible within the next few months and try to get these scores up. I've also pulled my credit reports within the last few days and have paid off the one small collection account I had and settled one other account that had c/o). Other than the one collection account and the c/o, the only major mark against me is a BK discharge from Jan 2010. I have two late payments on my mortgage, one in 2014 and one in early 2015 and I've sent a goodwill letter in hopes they will remove the late payment. I'm trying to hold myself accountable to not racking up the CC, paying them off, and closing some of the higher interest ones that also have annual fees.
05-19-2017 12:46 PM
Thank you - I do remember when I was getting my mortgage back in 2012 that my loan officer was adament about getting utilization below 30%, and I'm hoping to lower it a lot more than that.
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