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Differences in credit score programs, which do you trust?

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Established Member

Differences in credit score programs, which do you trust?

Hi all, I am new to myFico and have a strong commitment to keeping and building my credit now more than ever. 5 years ago I got divorced, stayed positive and have been proactive on building back my credit and saving for retirement. My question is what product do I trust in telling me what my scores are if there are so many products out there. For instance I have Credit Karma that tracks cs from TU and EQ then I have a free acct with Experian that shows me a score from them, then I have a credit card that tracks my score from Experian but there is a 30 point difference. Thats cookoo! I've been reading on here a lot and know that there can be as much as 79 different reports, etc etc but where can a newbie get scores to keep track of lets say every quarter? Some places want $30 per month and that gets expensive especially if you want 3 reports/scores.  I appreciate your answers and your advice. 

Joined myFico community 9-15-18
FICO® Score 8 as of 9-2018
EX: 655
TU: 661
EQ: 695
Message 1 of 13
12 REPLIES
Established Member

Re: Differences in credit score programs, which do you trust?

 

Congrats on repairing your credit...as many here will tell you, it's a marathon not a race....As for the different scores and products...do not trust the Credit Karma or others like it...they are called FAKO scores....they can give some kind of indicator, but it will never be accurate.

 

Personally I don’t mind paying the $30 a month on here for all 3 scores and the quarterly 3B report....that's $1 a day...I can swing that. Plus, people forget it also monitors your passport, drivers license, as well as alert you when new Accounts were opened in your name and you were not aware...so there are other benefits besides just glancing at your score.

 

With all of the hacking going on out there, this gives me some peace of mind....for $30.

 

Cheers.

Current FICO 8 Scores
EQ 736
TU 723
EX 728
Message 2 of 13
Super Contributor

Re: Differences in credit score programs, which do you trust?

If the score says FICO, it's meaningful.  If it doesn't (like what you get from CK) it isn't.

 

A great cheap source of your 3 FICO 8 reports/scores is Credit Check Total, where you can get them for $1.  After a couple of months or as needed, you can get them again for $1 (there's no limit to how many or how often you get them).  This is an ultra low cost solution that doesn't involve any sort of monthly membership fee.  You're in complete control with CCT $1 trials.

Message 3 of 13
Community Leader
Super Contributor

Re: Differences in credit score programs, which do you trust?

I'll dovetail on what BBS said so well.  The nice thing about CCT is that it provides a three-bureau report along with the scores.

 

But often you don't need to see your scores.  You just need a quick way to grab your reports.  This can be helpful for a bunch of reasons:

 

*  You want to see what the CRAs say your credit card balances are

*  You want to see if a new account has appeared yet

*  You want to see the details on a reported account (date opened, date closed, credit limit, etc.)

*  You want to see if a recent potential inquiry was hard (in which case it will appear on the report).

etc.

 

Credit Karma is a really nice fit for that, since it is free and allows you to get brand new TU and EQ reports as often as once a week.  Just ignore the scores and any advice it gives you.

 

You can pair that with another free tool which is creditscore.com -- it will give you your EX report and FICO 8 score once per month.

 

Many credit cards also offer free FICO scores each month.

Message 4 of 13
Established Member

Re: Differences in credit score programs, which do you trust?

Well guys first off thanks for the quick replies and the advice. Working on having a good set of scores will continue to be my goal.

 

I went ahead and did the CCT reports for the fact that it is the cheapest source out there.

I did a comparison chart:

CCT

655 Experian

661 Transunion

695 Equifax

 

CK

XXX Experian

653 Transunion

668 Equifax

 

Experian direct website

655

 

Needless to say it is all very very interesting. While the scores are off on the TU and EQ they aren't off by that much. However I will from now on not use CK as the choice for making a decision when it comes to CC applications or any other type of consumer loan application.

 

I can see how I will most likley head to open an account with the FICO system as a piece of mind. When one has bad credit it doesn't seem to matter whether one gets hacked but as I continue to work on increasing my scores and getting better at managing my financial repsonsibilities it only makes sense to have a system that continually monitors your credit file.

 

I have so much more to read on this forum and so much more to learn. 

 

I'm glad I stumbled on this while looking for something else!!

 

Joined myFico community 9-15-18
FICO® Score 8 as of 9-2018
EX: 655
TU: 661
EQ: 695
Message 5 of 13
Super Contributor

Re: Differences in credit score programs, which do you trust?

As an aside, it's important to understand that there are 3 components that go into the generation of a credit score:

 

1 - The scoring model used (FICO Score 8, VS 3.0, etc)

2 - The bureau data used (EX, TU, EQ)

3 - The time that both of these first two components were used

 

The scores you get from CCT are from the FICO Score 8 model, obviously each score is drawn on one of the 3 different sets of bureau data.  The score you got from Experian is also a FICO Score 8, using EX data.  Take note that your EX scores from CCT and Experian direct are identical and that's because they were using the same scoring model and they were pulled at the same point in time.

 

 

Message 6 of 13
Valued Contributor

Re: Differences in credit score programs, which do you trust?

I'll add that because Experian is your lowest score (as it is mine), that's arguably the most useful one to keep your eye on.  They'll almost always all go up & down together, but since you get that free Experian score once a month, it's all you really need to track your progress.

2019 Goal: 800+ across the board (my sole 30-day late drops in Q1 2019)
2018 Goals: garden, 750+ across the board, garden, put away 3 months' savings, garden



Experian is the canary in my coal mine.

EQ7756 INQ (4 CC, 2 mort)
EX7528 INQ (4 CC, 2 HELoan, 2 mort)
TU8026 INQ (4 CC, 2 mort)
6/24 < 8% AAoA 7y 1m | AoYA 4m | AoOA 19y 6m
Take the myFICO Fitness Challenge [ Last INQ 11-May-2018 ]
Gardening 'til Q1 2019
Message 7 of 13
Established Member

Re: Differences in credit score programs, which do you trust?

If I am understanding correctly since the Experian and CCT use the FICO 8 system to pull the scores, then is it safe to say that it may be better to use more than one source to get your scores from?

Joined myFico community 9-15-18
FICO® Score 8 as of 9-2018
EX: 655
TU: 661
EQ: 695
Message 8 of 13
Valued Contributor

Re: Differences in credit score programs, which do you trust?

IMHO, no.

 

There are three major credit reporting agencies (CRA's) - Equifax, Experian and Transunion.

 

All use their own data piped through FICO's algorithm.  Because each CRA has (potentially) its own data (not all creditors report to all agencies) and its own tweak on FICO's formula, the scores might differ somewhat, but they're typically in the same ballpark.  (My TU is higher 'cause it doesn't report a 6.5-year-old 30-day-late.)

 

Bottom line: if you know all three are in the same ballpark (and you do), you can use one source as a barometer.

 

BTW - I'm reasonably certain that Experian owns CCT.

2019 Goal: 800+ across the board (my sole 30-day late drops in Q1 2019)
2018 Goals: garden, 750+ across the board, garden, put away 3 months' savings, garden



Experian is the canary in my coal mine.

EQ7756 INQ (4 CC, 2 mort)
EX7528 INQ (4 CC, 2 HELoan, 2 mort)
TU8026 INQ (4 CC, 2 mort)
6/24 < 8% AAoA 7y 1m | AoYA 4m | AoOA 19y 6m
Take the myFICO Fitness Challenge [ Last INQ 11-May-2018 ]
Gardening 'til Q1 2019
Message 9 of 13
Super Contributor

Re: Differences in credit score programs, which do you trust?


@expatCanuck

 

BTW - I'm reasonably certain that Experian owns CCT.


It certainly does.

 

I think the OP may be confusing different sources with different scores and/or scoring models.  It isn't necessary important to get your scores from different sources, nor is it necessarily important to get scores from different scoring models.  What is important is knowing what your scores are that a potential lender may use.  Going for a mortgage?  You'd want to know your mortgage scores.  An auto loan?  Perhaps your auto scores.  A CC app?  You're FICO 8 scores are probably just fine, or perhaps your Bankcard Enhanced scores. 

 

Knowing where your FICO 8 scores stand unless you are planning to app for a specific product is usually enough.  If your FICO 8 scores are increasing over time, chances are your other FICO scores are as well.

Message 10 of 13