Moderator Emeritus
Posts: 14,084
Registered: ‎07-14-2009
Re: Credit Monitoring Service (CMS) Guide

dresnoone wrote:

This guide is very helpful, I’m using the USAA CreditCheck Monitoring and love the ability to refresh my credit report as often as I’d like without an increase in price. However, I see that it is considered a FAKO (Plus Score), what does the “Plus Score” mean?  

If I wanted to do a comparison of the USAA CreditCheck Monitoring and my actual FICO Scores to find the variance difference between the two, how would I go about doing so?

The "PLUS"score was started by Experian after they stoppped selling FICO scores to consumers. I guess they wanted to make some money off their own product. But the PLUS scores are not used by any lenders and are therefore useless.


Trying to compare any FAKO score to FICO's is an exercise in futility. FAKO's score different data in different ways than FICO and usually have different score ranges. There is simply no formula that you can use to compare or correlate FAKO's to FICO's.


Long time member llecs explains it much better than I can:


"Virtually everyone sells scores, but they are not all FICO scores. If you got scores from the big 3, then very likely 2 or all 3 of them are not FICO scores. Experian and TransUnion do not sell FICO scores on their website. We call these non-FICO scores, FAKOs, and can easily be as much as a few points to 100+ points off your real FICO when pulled the same day. If it didn't say "FICO" next to the score, then it isn't.

Other companies (e.g.,, truecredit, creditkarma, Equifax Credit Complete, Quizzle, and dozens of others out there) sell scores, but they are nothing more than gimmicks and lenders don't use them. They do this because they want to avoid paying any fees to FICO and when they say "credit score" people buy it anyway on the assumption that it is a FICO. The scores are off because the formula is different, factors in different things as compared to FICO, and score ranges are different than FICO's (e.g. FICO is 300-850, Vantage is 501-990, PLUS is 330-830, TransRisk is 350-850, and so on)."