I've looked through some other threads and I understand the basic differences in the various scoring models. However. What I'm not so sure about is how relevant are they, actually? I currently subscribe to Experian credit tracking and they offer the following:
FICO Score 8 (standard)
FICO Score 2 (mortgage lending)
FICO Auto Score 8 (auto lending)
FICO Auto Score 2 (auto lending)
FICO Bankcard Score 8 (credit card lending)
FICO Score 3 (credit card lending)
Are any of these other than the standard 8 model truly used by various institutions? It's my understanding that pretty much everything is run through FICO 8 - and there is a decent spread between my top and bottom scores in these models (57 pts). Or are these more for your own data point knowledge but not really very useful in reality?
Also I've seen FICO Score 9 mentioned here recently but I've never seen that listed on any of my reports...
First thing is FICO 9. You can find your 3 FICO 9 scores (FICO Score 9, FICO Auto Score 9, and FICO Bankcard Score 9) at the bottom of your FICO Score Versions page. You will only get all three CRA values with your 3B package that you buy from FICO.
As for your question about whether other models are truly used by various institutions? YES, most definitely, and your list is missing many. Let’s take mortgages. Your list shows FICO 2 which is used by EX for mortgages; however, FICO 4 is used by TU for mortgages, and FICO 5 is used by EQ for mortgages. If you are applying for a new mortgage or refi an existing mortgage, your proposed lender will pull all three and use the median value. Here is a post on how and why that is used if you like. http://ficoforums.myfico.com/t5/Understanding-FICO-Scoring/Why-the-quot-middle-score-quot/td-p/51621...
FICO 8 is good for general purposes (and FICO 9 is becoming more widely used on a daily basis); but, it is not the picture EVERY lender wants. For example, one thing you will notice on any CR is the amount of payments you have for (say) installment loans. These values are much more important for a mortgage than a CC loan for example. A lender will calculate your front and backend DTI for a mortgage (backend only for VA Loans); but they see all your monthly installment debts (including length remaining) on your CR. The FICO mortgage score models weigh these more heavily than standard FICO 8 or 9 models do, so mortgage lenders will pull these and not FICO 8 or 9.
Furthermore, looking at these scores (FICO 2, 4, & 5) allows you to catch an error quicker (in my opinion). A while ago I saw a significant difference between my TU FICO 8 and 4 scores. I also noticed significant differences between FICO 4 and my other mortgage scores. I checked my report and discovered TWO closed accounts that were still reporting open, but more importantly they reported significant balances remaining, high percentages of remaining debt to original debt, and large monthly payments. I filed a dispute and in about a month TU changed their data. After the change (and a new data report), none of my other (EQ and EX) reports changed much and my TU FICO 8 only changed a few points. However, my TU FICO 4 mortgage score went up 37 points. It went from my lowest mortgage score to my highest in one swoop. But more importantly, at that time, this increase changed my middle FICO mortgage score significantly (and that would have been thousands of dollars over the life of a mortgage if I needed one).
You will always see a spread in these different scores since the models weight values from a report differently. When you ask are they “really very useful in reality”, I only reference my mortgage example above and respond Definitely Yes. I think they are extremely helpful and necessary when you are planning on doing something when those scores are used by potential lenders (mortgage loan, car loan, personal loan, credit card, etc.).
Feel free to give kudos to amazing answers like his
I beg to differ
Thanks folks. I hope it helps.