Home Buying in 15210>Question Details

Pam Davis, Home Buyer in Pittsburgh, PA

My equifax score is 629,but my fico score is 580. Why is that and will I be able to get a VA loan?

Asked by Pam Davis, Pittsburgh, PA Thu Jul 14, 2011

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Each credit reporting agency (CRA) uses their own scoring model, which is the way that they interpret the information/data which is on your credit into a number, called your credit score. The information/data that is reported to each CRA is not always the same. There is no requirement for a creditor to report to a CRA, however if they do report to a CRA then the information they report must be correct. So this is why you may find that one creditor reports to Experian & Equifax but not TransUnion, or vice versa, etc, and this is also one reason why your scores could vary between the CRA's.

The scoring system that nearly all mortgage lenders use for Experian is "FICO V2"
The scoring system that nearly all mortgage lenders use for Equifax is "Beacon 5.0"
The scoring system that nearly all mortgage lenders use for TransUnion is "FICO Risk Score Classic 04"

As a consumer it is tough to get these scores, but you can get your EFX Beacon 5.0 from myFICO.com, you can get your TU FICO Risk Score Classic 98 (*not 04*) from myFICO.com (so this score will not be exact to what a mortgage lender pulls), and you can get your Experian FICO V2 score from PSECU if you are eligible to be a member (or perhaps you are since you are in Pennsylvania).

VA loans do not require a minimum credit score, however VA does not give loans directly, you need to go through a mortgage broker or lender, and most lenders are looking for a minimum score of anywhere between 600 & 640, and some even go down to 500 and some, like VA, do not even have a minimum score. Believe it or not, you can even get a VA loan without a credit score (as in a credit score doesn't exist) if you can prove you have non-traditional credit. The minimum score means the middle (median) score like John laid out in his example - the "middle of 3" or the "lower of 2" is the common underwriting guideline.
3 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Jul 15, 2011
Hi Pam,

Sounds like you are doing a whole lot of research and still not getting the answer you are looking for. How bout this, you know your going to have to apply for loan when you get a home, so just apply now. This way you'll know if you are approved and how much you're approved for. Then just tell your agent you want to find a home that meets your criteria now.

You'd be surprised how soon you could be actually sitting in your new living room. If you need help getting the ball rolling let me know I'd be happy to help.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sat Jul 16, 2011
They are probably both your FICO score. Where did you get these scores? Keep in mind that a 'FICO Score' is actual a score from a model that was created by Fair Issacs and they have more than a dozen in use. So if you went to Equifax to get one and your bank for a mortgage on the other, then it is very likely that they are using different models.

Some models have a maximum score of 850 and others have a maximum score of 800. It is possible that the 629 is on a model with a 850 max and the 580 is on a 800 max scale, so the numbers could still be pretty comparable.

Different models are suppose to measure different types of risk. For example, there is a model designed to measure risk of defaulting on your credit card and another model designed to measure risk of defaulting on your mortgage. Banks are not required to use one particular model, so your score could vary from bank to bank for the same type of loan.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Jul 14, 2011
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