For some extra tips check out my blog series, Top 10 Credit Myths:
Maybe some of the info provided on this site will be of help....
Credit scores vary by the type of credit for which one applies. A credit score for a mortgage loan will be different than an auto loan, a credit card, insurance, or employment. There are at least a dozen different scoring models provided by Fair-Isaac and the major credit bureaus, plus many creditors use their own scoring models.
Mortgage lenders must use a special type of credit report, commonly known as a "tri-merge" that combines data from all three of the major credit reportin agencies. Since the tri-merge reports are compiled by thrid parties, it is common for credit scores from each bureau to vary slightly from compiler to compiler. Very rarely will the score you obtain from a consumer service (such asTruecredit) match the score obtained by a mortgage lender.
The reason for the variance in scoring and various scoring alorithims is that the purpose of a credit score is to predict risk of granting new credit. It is not a point system like football or a grade like a school test.
As Christopher correctly states, in most cases the scores won't vary much from credit product to credit product. However, it is not uncommon to see a wide variance from bureau to bureau.
Prior to entering mortgage lending, I spent 12 years in the advertising field developing prospecting and credit decisioning programs for several banks and captive auto finance companies. I've purchased millions of credit derived records for credit offers, worked with Fair-Isaac to develop proprietary credit scoring algorithims for my clients, and reviewed in excess of ten thousand credit reports. The amount of misinformation and outright myths about credit scores, scredit scoring, and "how to beat the system" is jsut amazing.
Christopher, Experian stopped reporting its own data to Fair-Isaac becuase they now compete directly in providing credit monitoring systems to consumers. Experian decided to stop "arming" the competition with data, so to speak. However, that decision does not affect the relationship between Fair-Isaac and Experian for purposes of credit decisioning for lenders.
Accurate credit score is kind of an oxymoron. Considering 4 out of 5 reports have mistakes on them, a "accurate" score is hard to come by. All of the information your getting from the other posts are great but there is one thing I would like to point out.
All of the agencies that pull credit reports from exquifax, trans union, and expierien are nothing more that service providers. They do can not change your scores! They can help you get your scores adjusted by correcting mistakes, but that must be done by the bureau (EQ, EX, TU).
Also you must remember not all creditors report to all three bureaus. Smaller creditors may only report to noe considering the cost of reporting. Most collection agencies only report to one bureau because of budget constraints.
As much as we would all like to think that the credit agencies are here to report scores for the benifit of creditors, its not 100% true. They are pubicly traded companies and are in the business of selling consumer data to business. Reportly accurate scores are important but only if you keep them on their toes! I spend over $500 a month fixing people credit, its not cheap!
Here is a link to go to many different service providers plus the big 3.
The credit scores that you see when you pull your own credit and the ones that your lender uses when they evaluate your credit are rarely exactly the same, but most often each score will be within 10 points or so of the other report.
I would suggest checking your scores at both:
For some reason Experian is not reporting their information to the Fair Issac company which compiles FICO scores. They are using their own proprietary scoring system, and the only place that you get an accurate Experian score now is from Experian.
There is a fee (between $8-$15) for each report, but it's worth checking them periodically.
Good luck and let me know if I can be of further assistance.
Broker Associate, Sudler Sotheby's International Realty
They will provide you with your credit report and ask you to pay a small fee to obtain your "FICO" credit scores. Visit all three sites and you will have all the information you need.
Good Luck Nikki.
Cindy Vedder, Prudential California Realty