Valued Contributor
Posts: 1,671
Registered: ‎05-24-2007
Re: Credit Card debt AND Line of Credit debt...Will my score ever improve?
[ Edited ]

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.