No credit is better than bad credit because you can establish credit with some directed effort. The common denominator is time. Scores can go down quickly but only go up slowly. The combination of factors that the credit bureaus use to determine your score is called an 'algorithm' and is based on your available credit, your payment history, how long you've had credit, how often you've applied for credit, and how you pay your bills.
Unfortunately, it takes credit to get credit, even if you don't use credit! We all can agree that it's best not to have debt, which is what happens when you borrow or when credit is extended to you. "The borrower is servant to the lender" is a biblical statement that contains much truth. But having 'good' credit can save you hundred of thousands of dollars on a mortgage and is even necessary when you apply for certain jobs.
If your credit is marginal, if you don't have much of a score or if you're just trying to improve your score without having to open a credit line, you can go to a credit union and open an account with a $500 deposit. Ask them to give you a $500 loan using your deposit as collateral. Since they are a credit union that are only obligated to their members, most will do this without a credit check and you'll walk out with the same $500 you walked in with. Use a 6 month or 1 year term and your monthly payments will be low and interest on the loan will be insignificant. If you have any doubts about making the loan payments, deposit the money back into your savings account and arrange for automatic payments so you'll never be late. It'll cost you some interest over the term of the loan but they'll start reporting your on time payments within 60 days and you'll get an ongoing bump in your score. The net result is a forced savings program (and an increased score); after the year you'll now have $1000 in your savings account that's all yours!
To augment this strategy, repeat at several credit unions and after paying off the loan ask for a cash secured credit card. They'll issue the card without a credit check with a limit equal to your savings account. Use the card to pay your utility bill or for gas for your car and send the check in on time each month. They'll report to credit and now you have another credit line open with an on time record. After 6-12 months, ask for an unsecured card this time and although they'll pull your credit for the application, your on time record will virtually guarantee the card and the responsible habits you've developed should keep this credit in perspective and under control.
To address the inconsistency between your scores, realize that 40% of credit records contain errors so it's important to be proactive about your credit (as above) as well as your score. Understand that most creditors don't report to all three bureaus and many only report to one. Contact the the 3 bureaus and get your free report (each bureau will give you a free copy once a year) and address any errors by using the error correction procedures outlined on their websites. If you have any difficulty or questions in this area, contact your local credit counseling center; they are usually some type of public agency and should not be charging you for the service they provide (although they may accept donations). Hope this helps. If it has, click on 'helpful answer' (thumbs up).