What Is My Credit Score? Understanding Scores From Different Credit Bureaus

At one point of my professional life, after college, I did ask what is my credit score. It was interesting to know what my score would be, if I would be able to make a car loan, start investing on a new home or maybe just see how my efforts to pay my bills and balances are paying off. Understanding what is my credit score is really tough because based on the reports from the 3 major credit bureaus, I have different scores. How come? There are many factors to consider and to top that off; the credit bureaus have different tools to determine the scores. Most likely, you, too, will find that there are discrepancies in the payment of these scores.

The FICO score is the most widely used tool to determine my credit score and the scores of majority of the US consumers. According to online data, Equifax is the only one that uses the FICO score while the other two agencies, TransUnion and Experian use algorithms based on the FICO score. The FICO score is from 350 to 850 while Experian uses a score from 330 to 850. TransUnion on the other hand uses a score from 300 to 850. As you can see, there are very slight changes but such changes can cause a big impact on credit score. Aside from the numbers themselves, the range and the interpretation for each scores will also vary.

In understanding what is my credit score, I had to check the three credit bureau reports since they have different reporting formats. Though all of them collect data from various financial institutions, they do not share such information from each other. Also, some lenders do not actually report on all 3 of them so you cannot really make sure that all your credit information is within one credit report. In my case, my credit score will be three different numbers and the range can vary considerably since the base score vary from each other.

That means, credit score cannot be considered as the solid truth. You can choose the credit score that could be most convenient for you. In some cases, one report might include some details that could have negative impact to you and the other one doesn’t. At that point, you can opt to use the more convenient score and as you do that, you also fix your other financial responsibilities. Variations on the credit score do not mean that you cannot really use them. Look at it as a range. Credit score can determine how far away I am on getting a poor credit and how close I am from getting the most ideal score. Credit score is not just about what you did in the past, but also what you could do in the future especially if you have loans and balances to pay.

I would like to know what is my credit score. Do you? If you want, you can simply sign up now and receive scores from all three major credit bureaus.