Please forgive this question as being dumb. I joined the site a couple of weeks ago, and I am just confused about FICO scores. Isn't hat what the big three provide? I have been subscribing to the experian credit monitoring, but I am told that it is FACO not FICO. If that's fake, then what is the true FICO score? Does it exist outside of the three agencies? I.e.., is there an independent FICO score?
Any help would be much appreciated.
You have 3 FICO scores, one each from TU, EX, and EQ. However, these bureaus also sell versions of their own scores that are not FICOs. You can get your TU and EQ FICOs from this site.
Each of the three CRAs contracted with FICO to create a FICO score for each. Therefore you have 3 different FICO scores (well, more if you compare the various models and model years floating around out there).
The word "FICO" is just like Xerox was to copying or Band-aid was to all bandages out there. It's ubiquitous and consumers tend to assume that all "credit scores" are FICO scores. Companies capitalize on that and sell credit scores hoping that consumers would think they're FICO scores. Dozens and dozens of companies like freecreditreport.com, experian.com, creditkarma, transunion.com, truecredit.com, and a hundred others sell scores but they aren't FICO scores.
You're limited on the places to get your FICO score.
You can only buy your EQ FICO from myFICO, your lender, or from Equifax.com (buyer beware: the scores they push are a FAKO, but your EQ FICO can be purchased through EQ).
You can only buy your TU FICO from myFICO or your lender.
Finally, you can only buy your EX FICO from your lender. As of a few years ago, Experian blocked consumer access to your own EX FICO.
Aside from the above, you can also get your FICO scores for free or at a reduced price. Banks and CUs will offer it as a benefit. M&T Bank, Unitus Community Credit Union, and Digital Credit Union each offer an EQ FICO. You can get your TU FICO from Wal-Mart or Merrick Bank if you have CCs with them. And you can get your EX FICO from PA State Employees Credit Union (PSECU) if you have a checking account with them. There are other CUs out there that will offer a FICO if you ask them as part of a benefit for being a member.