Fair Isaac Corporation (FICO™) announced recently that consumers are again able to obtain their 3 FICO® Scores that are based on the information reported by all 3 national credit bureaus Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion. Consumers can obtain their 3 FICO Credit Scores at myFICO.com.
That’s good news for consumers because having the ability to check all three of their FICO Scores gives them additional tools they can use to retain control over their personal finances, especially considering it is estimated that the majority of the credit scores used by lenders are FICO Scores.
However, since there are many versions of the FICO Score, the consumer version of the score available at myFICO may differ slightly from the actual FICO Scores lenders see when they are evaluating your applications for credit. For most, the difference should be minimal, but don’t be surprised if your lender says your score is slightly higher or lower than the scores that you bought on the myFICO website.
At least now consumers have the option to view all three of their scores before they apply for credit, an option that has been missing for some time since Experian previously discontinued their FICO relationship in February 2009. Since then consumers have not been able to directly get their FICO score based on their Experian credit report information. Apparently that has now been fixed.
For consumers it is good news as I said, but it is not all good news, as the costs of the 3 scores including the associated credit reports is somewhat expensive, especially in comparison to what lenders pay – currently it costs consumers about $50 for their 3 scores and reports at myFICO.
Sadly even if you were willing to pay extra for it, the FICO score is not currently available with your free annual credit report you are entitled to request yearly from the central site mandated by law – www.annualcreditreport.com. Hopefully that will change at some point, and there will be more outlets to obtain your 3 FICO scores, and perhaps at a better price, than just going to FICO’s own website at myFICO.com.
In the meantime, most websites who provide credit scores to consumers must continue to provide non-FICO scores that are meaningful educational scores to consumers, and are valuable in evaluating your credit, but may not be the same scoring system as used by lenders.
That should not keep you from checking your reports and scores on a regular basis and perhaps monitoring your credit reports at all three agencies to keep abreast of changes in your reports. If you can afford it, these tools may not only help you to control your credit profile and scores, but they may also help you spot potential inaccuracies in your credit reports, and/or possibly identify signs of identity theft in an early stage
Authored by Charles R. Burnett for CreditReporting.com.