Have you been checking out your credit score only to find it’s different from place to place? You thought you had a good score from one source, but you found out your FICO score is another story. Here are some reasons why you have different credit scores from different sources.
#1: Different Credit Score Scales
Remember those weird college professors who would grade your tests on a scale other than 1-100? It’s annoying and hard to figure out. Credit bureaus do something similar, and it’s also hard to discern.
A score of 500 on VantageScore versions 1.0 and 2.0 is weaker than a score of 500 for FICO. Confused yet?
There are basically 6 bureaus used for credit scores. These are their scoring ranges:
- FICO Score: 300-850
- VantageScore 3.0: 300–850
- VantageScore (versions 1.0 and 2.0): 501–990
- Experian’s PLUS: 330-830
- TransUnion New Account Score 2.0: 300-850
- Equifax: 280–850
Collection agencies, court records, and creditors (such as credit card companies) report your credit activity to the credit bureaus at different times of the month. Your credit score is dependent on how quickly a bureau receives and posts this information to your report.
If a creditor reported something to one bureau but not another, you may have a different credit score showing up across different bureaus. This is because each bureau has access to a different set of information. There’s no need to worry about that.
In fact, your score may even change from week to week based on when bureaus receive information about your account balances.
#3: Someone Else’s Score is Attached to Your Name in Error
Unfortunately, sometimes there are mix-ups in reports where someone’s else information appears on your credit report. This can be scary when you see it, but there are a number of reasons:
- Bureaus may have differing versions of your name (ex. Robert Smith vs. “Bobby” Smith)
- Your name changed after marriage
- Inaccurate data: a mis-typed SS number, address, etc.
If you believe you have an error on one of your credit reports, there’s help available for you. Visit FICO’s contact page and select “How do I dispute inaccurate information on my credit report?”
#4: Different Information is Used
Not every bureau requires the same information to be collected from creditors, court records, and collection agencies. This is a good reason why relying on one factor of your credit history to keep your score high is not a good idea. You need to pay attention to each account you have open and make sure payments are made in a timely manner.
Here’s Matt Wood, our branch manager, outlining which scores are considered high and low, and how you can improve your credit score.
Should I be Worried About Different Credit Scores?
Probably not. But, you do want to keep an eye out for one bureau that’s reporting wildly different scores from the others. They may have incomplete or incorrect information about you.
If you have questions about how your credit score may affect your approval for a mortgage, we’re here to help.
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