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Posts: 32,880
Registered: ‎08-04-2007
Re: Why is FICO different for two identical reports ?

AtLeastTwoCharactersLong wrote:

I just reviewed my MyFico info for both Equifax and Transunion, and was amused that the scores are different, despite both agencies reporting the exact same things: the top level dashboards both show "Great" and "Very Good" For the same categories, there are the exact same accounts. exact same balances.  Even my "current credit card activity" is the same.   However, on the "What's Hurting Your Score" page (the one with the scales), the Eq one cites "bad payment history", while the Transunion one cites "high account balances' and "high credit usage".    One score is 769, one is 741.  I thought FICO was supposed to be a balanced score that represented a single unified metric, and I'm a bit baffled as to why I'm getting two completely different scores on what seems to be the same data.

Welcome! "FICO" is a generic term and when I first joined here I thought there was only one FICO score. On the contrary, FICO created a different formula for each CRA (e.g. EQ, TU, and EX). So, even with 100% precise and perfect and mirrored reports, the FICO scores between TU and EQ will differ, though only by a few points. From what I understand the scores are different because each CRA contracted FICO to create a score using their data via a licensing agreement. Therefore the scores differ. And while a score range of 300-850 is advertised, it is slighly different and that can create varying scores too.


The FICO for each of the CRAs also weigh in account differently. In my experience, EQ weighed revolving utilization a whole lot more than TU. For example, I had 89% utilization reporting at one point in time and took a loan to pay all of my CCs off. Utilization in one month went from 89% to 1%. Both TU and EQ reported 89%. But when the balances went down, my EQ FICO increased 125 points and my TU FICO increased 80 or so points. Conversely, IME, TU weighs baddies a lot more than EQ. I had a baddie report once and TU dropped a lot more than EQ. This alone can cause your score difference. Certainly your mileage may vary. This can explain why the "things that are hurting your score" (the top one to four items that hurt the most and the top one to four items that help the most) vary between both reports.


Finally, it's very, very rare to see two reports exactly alike. It's not uncommon to have an account on one report and not the other. That alone can cause a significant score difference. Also not every creditor will update all 3 reports at the same time and that can cause a big score difference in some situations. In the past I've had lates report on one and not the other. Even something small like dates can result in a large score difference.