Have you ever double-checked your credit score and been surprised at what you see? Not because you didn’t know it, but because the score is different from the score you got somewhere else. Why does it seem like you have multiple credit scores?
Well, it’s because you actually do have multiple credit scores. Depending on where you check it, your credit score can differ. Here’s a few reasons why you have more than one credit score.
A credit score is, basically, a numerical summary of a credit report. This report pulls your credit history like payment records, amounts owed, and open accounts.
There are 3 main credit reporting bureaus: Experian, Equifax, TransUnion. These agencies each have their own version of your credit report! Because all 3 credit reporting agencies generate their own report from their data, everyone with a credit history has at least 3 versions of their credit score.
The scores from these agencies are pretty similar, but the bureau you pull credit scores from can sometimes make a difference.
*Roadrunner Financial uses Experian Auto Score 8.
What if we told you that the FICO Score isn’t the only credit score out there? FICO is actually a brand name created by the Fair Isaac Corporation for their credit scoring model.
The FICO Score model is considered extremely reliable, and is the most commonly used model by lenders and banks across the country.
But those agencies we mentioned above – Experian, TransUnion and Equifax – thought the FICO Score could use some competition. So in 2006, the 3 credit reporting bureaus worked together to create their own model: VantageScore.
The VantageScore currently sits on the same scale as FICO, from 300 to 850. But, as opposed to FICO, which calculates credit score by percentages, the VantageScore considers the level of “influence” of parts of your credit history.
For example, your Credit Mix (the types of open accounts) and Length of Credit History (how long you’ve had open accounts) make up 25% of your FICO Score. Under VantageScore, Credit Mix and Experience are marked as “highly influential”. Mysterious, we know.
Different Lenders and More
Now that you know that there’s a few versions of your credit score, based on the model and source, we have one last piece of info to add: many lenders also create their own credit scoring models.
Just like FICO and VantageScore were created to represent general creditworthiness, some lenders make their own models that represent their view of creditworthiness.
Plus, there are dozens of other models out there based on industry and other variables. Even though FICO isn’t the only scoring model out there, and there are 3 credit reporting agencies, don’t worry about an astronomical difference in your credit scores. They’ll usually be in the same ballpark.
You definitely have more than one credit score – it all depends on who you’re talking to.
* FICO® (FICOAuto 8) Credit Score, key factors and other credit information are based on data from Experian® and may be different from other credit scores and other credit information provided by different bureaus.
The above article is being provided for informational purposes only and shall not be considered any type of professional advice. Roadrunner Financial, Inc. (RF) does not warrant the accuracy of the information contained herein. Prior to utilizing RF as a lender, all dealerships are subject to underwriting approval by RF, in its sole discretion. No loans will be funded without a signed Dealer Agreement between the dealership and RF. All applicants for credit through RF are subject to credit approval. Other qualifications and restrictions may apply.