Every year you do your due diligence and order copies of your credit reports so you
can be sure that everything is in order and you’ve not been a victim of identity theft.
Just for the heck of it you order your scores too. So far, so good – scores in the
700’s. Now you’re going to apply for a mortgage and the loan officer pulls your credit
and your scores are in the 600’s?! What happened? Possibly nothing...
Every industry has its own scoring models or scoring method. If you apply for a car,
a credit card, a mortgage, even insurance – all use different scoring models and will
have different scores, based on different parameters. Personal scores or those you
get when you request your own credit report or scores, will almost always be the
highest, but they are not used by any industry for any reason. I prefer to call them
the “warm and fuzzy scores” to make us feel good about ourselves.
There are some scores that are not even true FICO (Fair Isaac Company) scores.
One place you can get your FICO scores, short of a lender requesting it, is through
www.myfico.com. But again, you receive personal FICO scores that are not industry
What about www.annualcreditreport.com? This takes you to each individual bureaus
website to obtain your credit. Those are FICO scores – right? Not necessarily.
When you pull credit though Experian and order your scores you receive a Plus
Score which is a score based on an in-house model developed by Experian not by
FICO. The same is true for TransUnion; you are receiving an in-house model called
a TransRisk score. If you want a FICO score from Trans Union you have to order it
through their sister sight which is www.transunioncs.com. Equifax does provide a
FICO score; however, they are still personal scores. The only way to obtain your
mortgage scores is when you apply for a mortgage loan through a lender, bank,
credit union, etc. They are set up with special codes that are used to pull your credit
through the mortgage scoring models.
There are many websites that offer “credit scores”. Be careful since they are usually
not true FICO scores but rather in-house score models, otherwise known as FAKO
We’ve all seen the rather annoying guitar playing, table waiting gentleman on
television who’s been a victim of identity theft and is touting “freecreditreport.com”.
This is an Experian based website and you will receive the Experian Plus score,
which is not a FICO score. In addition, it’s not free! You have to sign up and pay for
their credit monitoring service to receive your “free” credit report. The TransRisk
score is provided at “TrueCredit.com” and “PrivacyMatters.com”. Both may offer
valuable services, but again, they are not true FICO scores.