Your FICO Scores…Experian, Equifax and Transunion Sell them to Lenders….but Sell a FAKE to You!
If someone said the temperature is 38 degrees outside, how would you want to dress? Would you be grabbing an overcoat? How about ear muffs? Would you begin to shiver just thinking about it being so close to freezing outside?
Now, what IF that 38 degrees they were talking about was the Celsius number??? According to the National Weather Service, a 38 degree Celsius is equal to 100.4 degrees Fehrenheit!
When discussing temperature, it MATTERS which scale is being used.
When discussing CREDIT SCORE, it MATTERS which scoring scale is being used!!!!
For years it was so easy. You could visit any of the major Credit Bureau websites (Transunion, Equifax, Experian) or any of their "partner" sites and pull your own credit. For a small fee you could also get your FICO score. After all, knowing your own FICO gave you a barometer as to how lenders would look at you. It let you know whether you would likely be able to get the best interest rates on your purchases or loans, or whether you'd likely have to pay a higher interest rate because your credit score was lower than desirable. The FICO ranges between 300-850 and it is FICO that the majority of lenders still use in making lending decisions (though there are even different "versions" of legitimate FICO which can yield somewhat differing results).
The very fact that it is FICO that the majority of lenders use is the reason why consumers have made it a habit of monitoring their own credit scores ... so they can have an idea as to where they stand in the "credit worthiness" spectrum.
But the three major credit reporting agencies (Experian, Equifax, and Transunion) have made it a whole lot harder for Consumers to REALLY know where they stand with regard to their TRUE CREDIT SCORE....THE FICO!!! What's even worse, MOST CONSUMERS DON'T EVEN KNOW THEY'RE NOT GETTING THEIR FICO SCORE WHEN THEY REQUEST THEIR "CREDIT SCORE" directly from any of those primary credit reporting agency websites (let alone from any of their "partner" sites!).
Here are some of the facts:
- FICO measures your credit on a scale of 300-850
- The "Credit Scores" being offered by the major credit reporting agencies is based on a scale of 501-990 and is called a VANTAGE score...TOTALLY UNRELATED TO FICO!!!!
- FICO is the score that lenders, employers, insurers, landlords, etc., require when making decisions on whether or not (or at what interest rate) you're "credit worthy"
- FICO is the scoring system that, until recently, the major credit reporting agencies (Experian, Transunion, and Equifax) made available to the consumer directly from their own websites. THIS IS NO LONGER THE CASE.
- When you are offered "opportunities" to check your "credit score" online, these companies are NOT giving you THE credit scores that they are providing to anyone inquiring as to your credit....
In other words...they are telling YOU one thing....and telling potential creditors SOMETHING TOTALLY DIFFERENT!
For more information on what's happened to your FICO, including links to some great resources on the subject of FICO and your credit, visit my "Know Your REAL FICO" page for more information!
Have you checked your credit yet? Do you know what your FICO score is (NOT just your "credit score"...be sure it actually says FICO (and you can see your FICO scores for Transunion and Equifax at MyFico.com)...if it doesn't, you're seeing a FAKE!