Getting Your Credit Scores

The scores that the credit bureaus sell to consumers are not the same credit scores that lenders use. What’s up with this?

Measure Your Credit Repair Progress

Many people like to begin their credit repair program by getting their credit scores. This makes sense. If you know your starting point you can measure your progress. There are, of course, other means of measuring your credit repair progress, such as the elimination of erroneous derogatory information from your report. But, if you decide to benchmark your progress by getting your scores there are some things you need to know.

Lenders Use FICO Scores

The credit scores lenders use are called FICO scores. FICO is an acronym for Fair Isaac Corp., the creator of the scoring model. Fair Isaac provides the software to the three major credit bureaus, Experian, Equifax, and TransUnion. The three credit bureaus use the FICO software to create FICO scores from the data that they each maintain on individual consumers.

Credit Bureau Scores Are Not The Same

The credit bureaus sell these FICO scores to lenders. And here is where it gets complicated. The credit bureaus do not sell FICO scores to consumers. Instead, they sell their own proprietary scores to consumers, which may vary from your FICO scores by over one hundred points. These scores are of no use for your credit repair. Do you understand? If you purchase your credit scores from the credit bureaus you will not be getting the same scores that a lender will look at.

Where To Get Your FICO Scores

If you want to get your genuine FICO scores to benchmark your credit repair progress you need to purchase them from MyFico.com, the website of Fair Isaac Corp. The cost at the time of this writing is just under fifty dollars total for all three. As a viable option, if you have applied for a mortgage or an auto loan recently your loan officer may be kind enough to provide you with copies of your reports. These are terrific to get you started on your credit repair program and will include your authentic FICO scores.