When the scores are significantly different across bureaus, it is likely the underlying data in the credit bureaus is different and thus driving that observed score difference.
Your score differs based on the information provided to each bureau, explained more next. Information provided to the credit bureaus: The credit bureaus may not receive all of the same information about your credit accounts. Surprisingly, lenders aren't required to report to all or any of the three bureaus.
Basically, "credit score" and "FICO® score" are all referring to the same thing. A FICO® score is a type of credit scoring model. While different reporting agencies may weigh factors slightly differently, they are all essentially measuring the same thing.
The most accurate credit scores are the latest versions of the FICO Score and VantageScore credit-scoring models: FICO Score 8 and VantageScore 3.0.
Most FICO scores are on a range of 300 to 850, and a higher score indicates better credit. FICO also offers industry-specific scores for credit cards and car loans, which range from 250 to 900.
FICO Scores are trusted to be a fair and reliable measure of whether a person will pay back their loan on time. By consistently using FICO Scores, lenders take on less risk, and you get faster and fairer access to the credit you need and can manage.
Though Credit Karma does not currently offer FICO® scores, the scores you see on Credit Karma (VantageScore 3.0 credit scores from TransUnion and Equifax) provide valuable insight into your financial health. It's important to keep in mind that no one credit score is the end-all, be-all.
What Credit Score Do Lenders Use? The two main companies that produce and maintain credit scoring models are FICO® and VantageScore. Lenders most commonly use the FICO® Score to make lending decisions, and in particular, the FICO® Score 8 is the most popular version for general use.
Consequently, when lenders check your FICO credit score, whether based on credit report data from Equifax, Experian, or TransUnion, they will likely use the FICO 8 scoring model. FICO 8 scores range between 300 and 850. A FICO score of at least 700 is considered a good score.
Although ranges vary depending on the credit scoring model, generally credit scores from 580 to 669 are considered fair; 670 to 739 are considered good; 740 to 799 are considered very good; and 800 and up are considered excellent.
For the majority of general lending decisions, such as personal loans and credit cards, lenders use your FICO Score. Your FICO Score is calculated by the data analytics company Fair Isaac Corporation, and it's based on data from your credit reports. VantageScore, another scoring model, is a well-known alternative.
Experian's advantage over FICO is that the information it provides is more thorough than a simple number. A pair of borrowers could both have 700 FICO scores but vastly different credit histories.
The average credit score in the United States is 698, based on VantageScore® data from February 2021. It's a myth that you only have one credit score. In fact, you have many credit scores. It's a good idea to check your credit scores regularly.
FICO Scores are an industry standard
90% of top lenders use FICO Scores when making lending decisions. So when you apply for a loan, it's likely your lender will be checking your FICO Scores to determine how much you can borrow and how much interest you'll pay.
Although VantageScore credit scores have been around for about 15 years, the FICO Score is still the preferred choice of most lenders. In the U.S., lenders use FICO Scores in 90% of lending decisions.
Best Overall AnnualCreditReport.com
The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau confirms that AnnualCreditReport.com is the official website that allows you to access each of your credit reports from all three of the major credit bureaus — Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion — at no cost.
A conventional loan requires a credit score of at least 620, but it's ideal to have a score of 740 or above, which could allow you to make a lower down payment, get a more attractive interest rate and save on private mortgage insurance.
FICO Score 8 is the most commonly used FICO credit score among lenders in the financial industry. This score ranges anywhere between 300 and 850.
FICO 9 is a credit scoring model owned by the Fair Isaac Corporation (FICO), who introduced it to creditors in 2014 and consumers in 2016. As with FICO's older models, such as FICO 8, it scores your credit on a scale from 300 to 850. Your FICO 9 score indicates how likely you are to repay your debts.
You can get your FICO® Score for free from hundreds of financial services companies, including banks, credit unions, credit card issuers and credit counselors that participate in the FICO® Score Open Access program and offer free scores to customers.
Some lenders report to all three major credit bureaus, but others report to only one or two. Because of this difference in reporting, each of the three credit bureaus may have slightly different credit report information for you and you may see different scores as a result.
A FICO score of 650 is considered fair—better than poor, but less than good. It falls below the national average FICO® Score of 710, and solidly within the fair score range of 580 to 669.
You can check your credit score as often as you want without hurting your credit, and it's a good idea to do so regularly. At the very minimum, it's a good idea to check before applying for credit, whether it's a home loan, auto loan, credit card or something else.
A 674 FICO® Score is Good, but by earning a score in the Very Good range, you could qualify for lower interest rates and better borrowing terms. A great way to get started is to check your credit score to find out the specific factors that impact your score the most and get your free credit report from Experian.