Re: Lenders see different scores than consumers do
04-23-2011 06:40 AM
I'd be upset too.
Unfortunately as you know now, the scores offered via TransUnion, Experian, and even Equifax are not even FICO scores. They are a non-FICO we call a FAKO. They'll tell you in the tiny fine print that they aren't FICO scores, and promote them as an "educational score" or as a marketing gimmick, but these services will go at great lengths to hide that fact. Not only do they hide that info from consumer view, but they go at great lengths to hide or prevent consumer-access to a FICO score. Experian for example no longer provides data for consumers to buy an Experian FICO score as evidenced on this website. If any service offers an Experian score, then run away knowing that their scores are not FICO scores. I recommend checking out the CMS Guide. It covers some of the services out there, including one you used, and tells you if the score is a FICO score or not. It also lists other places you can get your FICO score outside of your lender. Basically the only use these services have are to monitor your credit. I use them but I ignore the scores (if not a FICO).
If your goal is to get a mortgage and you want to improve your FICO scores, and you want to use that same lender, I recommend looking at their tri-merge report to look at those FICO scores. Specifically, you'd want to look at the version of FICO score used. Just about all lenders use the same EQ FICO as found on this site. If you were to pull your EQ FICO the same day as your lender, they'd likely match. TU FICO is a little different. There are two versions out there of TU FICO that lenders use. One is a 98 version and other is a 04 version. It's always possible that the TU FICO may not match, but would be close, and would be handy to know beforehand. Your tri-merge report from the lender should list the TU version used. And lastly, the only way you can get your EX FICO because Experian blocks access is either from your lender or from a CU in PA called PSECU if you happen to bank with them. That score would likely match your lender's too.
I recommend looking at what is holding your scores back. The fastest way to improve is paying off credit cards. There are some great folks on these forums who can help you reach your goals whatever they may be.