It can be frustrating to order copies of all your credit reports, just for your scores to all be different, sometimes by a many points! You may be asking yourself, why are my credit scores different? There are a few reasons your score will vary depending on the agency.
1. Each bureau (Equifax, TransUnion, and Experian) all use a different formula for determining your score. Some may find more significance in the length of history you have over how many times your credit has been pulled, or they may think your debt overall is more significant than delinquent accounts. The hard part of this aspect is that the bureaus keep this information quiet, and they don’t reveal their formulas to anyone.
2. Some scores you may receive (especially on some of the sites that offer scores for free) are not actual FICO scores, they are FAKO scores. These scores are using a different formula to predict your score, thus the lower pricing. Often they will be similar to your score, or they may trend in the direction of your actual FICO score (if the FAKO goes up, you can guess your FICO is too) but they aren’t the scores that your car dealership and home mortgage bank are pulling when they are looking to approve you.
3. Each bureau may have different items from your credit history on them. Some creditors, like your car payment, may have determined they are only going to report your payment history to one bureau for simplicity’s sake. While MOST of the items on your credit report will be on all your credit reports, there are some that will be on one or two bureau’s reports, but not the others.
4. Your report may not be complete. If you have used a different name, or version of your name, or if someone typed in your date of birth or Social Security number incorrectly, you might have two records. This is especially common among Junior and Senior named people, who sometimes get records mixed up since the names are similar.
These are all reasons your credit score will vary among the 3 different bureaus, and all the more reason for you to be armed with your own information. Keep up to date with your report and actively pursue inaccuracies.