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Credit Report Scores – Differences or are they all the same?

Saying credit scores are all the same is like saying all cola drinks are the same.  It’s just not true.  There’s Coca Cola, Pepsi Cola, RC Cola, Shasta Cola, Diet Coke, Cherry Coke, etc., and each cola has slightly different ingredients and a slightly different taste.

Credit scores are similar to cola drinks in that there are many flavors out there because credit scores are produced by many different companies for many different purposes.  Plus, the recipe for the credit score and the method to produce it may be slightly different for each company.

Presently there are popular credit scores available to consumers produced by companies like Fair Issac (FICO Score), by CreditXpert, by Experian, and by Trans Union, just to name a few.  Plus there is a new score called the Vantage Score.

If all this confuses you, you are not alone. It becomes even more confusing because each credit score producer may use a different scale.  For example Fair Issac may use a scale of 300 to 850 while the Vantage Score uses a scale of 501 to 990. 

So how do you compare scores from different suppliers?  We have no good answer except to advise you that when you are looking at your credit score, you should pay more attention to the credit report components that are lowering your score and pay a little less attention to the score value itself.  Afterall, it’s the credit information that determines the score, so when you change your credit report, your credit score should change.

Many consumers also ask which credit score is best.  The simple answer is the FICO Score is best because it is used by lenders the most, but even the FICO Score from each of the three credit reporting agencies may show material differences if your credit information is not the same at all 3.  The FICO Score is also not available with all the credit reports which the consumer can obain.

However, scores from other credit report sources can still be just as valuable as the FICO Score to see the primary factors that are lowering your score, and with these primary factors you can begin to understand how to build a better credit report and hence a better credit score.


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