Your Credit Scores Are Different For Different Reasons

Why You Have Different Credit Scores :You might have noticed that your credit scores are different at the three credit bureaus if you have ever purchased a three-in-one credit score or used free credit scores from multiple sites in a single day. Different credit scores are common; here’s why that happens.

Scoring Models

There are dozens of credit score models, and each one can give you a different credit score. For instance, each of the three credit bureaus has its own model for calculating your score, and the bureaus partnered to formulate the VantageScore


Banks and other screening services may also have different credit scoring models. One of the world’s most widely known credit scoring companies has its own credit scoring model.


FICO and the credit bureaus release new versions of their credit scoring models periodically. Many lenders continue to use older models, since adoption rates for new models can be slow.

Report Data

The credit bureaus normally do not share data with each other. Some creditors and lenders might only report to one or two of the credit bureaus. In this case, your Equifax, Experian, and Trans Union credit reports will differ from each other depending on the information contained in each report.


Experian calculates your credit score using data from its credit report; for example, if you have a collection account listed on your TransUnion credit report, but not on your Experian credit report, then your TransUnion credit score might be lower.

Which Is Your Lender Using?

Lenders have established relationships with one or more of the credit bureaus. You may ask your lender from which credit bureau they purchase credit scores (they may or may not tell you), but you cannot request that the lender use a specific credit bureau to retrieve your score.


A lot of lenders use the FICO credit scores developed by FICO, the company formerly known as Fair Isaac. Your credit scores can be obtained from on credit reports from Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion.

Scores You Don’t Know About

A few industry-specific credit scores are available directly to businesses; however, they cannot be purchased directly. These include an auto insurance score, bankruptcy prediction score, and mortgage credit score. 

There has been no research done on how these scores compare to generic credit scores available online, so they won’t match whatever you purchased online.

Is Checking Your Credit Score Worth It?

Even though the credit score you are checking might not match the credit score your lender uses, it’s still important to check your credit score, so you can get a free credit report or make use of a credit monitoring service to get your score. 


Getting your credit score will give you a good sense of whether you have poor credit or good credit. You’ll feel more confident about the chances of getting a new credit card or a personal loan if you have a good credit score. 

Make sure you look at at least one credit score for each of your three credit reports so you have a complete picture of your credit.


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