You should always check your credit scores on a regular basis, but you should also be aware that not all credit scores are made the same. There are a few different types of credit score out there, and you don’t always have to concern yourself with all of them. You may wish to learn a little about credit scores before you commit to finding you’re your own credit score and attempting to repair your credit score as well.
FICO is Everything
Almost all lenders are going to use a FICO score when deciding on whether to give out a loan. These scores are gotten from the three reporting bureaus by the lender themselves. Sometimes a lender will allow you to see the report that they’ve received, and you should usually study this report very well. You’ll be able to tell which scores are which by their names: BEACON will have come from Equifax, EMPIRICA will have come from Transunion and the EXPERIAN score is, of course, from Experian.
Many Scores from Bureaus are Incorrect
Bureau scores will often be a little different from the FICO scores that the bureaus give to the actual lenders. They create their own scores and then they give these scores to consumers. These scores can be very different from legitimate FICO scores, and this can cause a lot of confusion for consumers who believe their credit scores are good but then still get rejected. However, Equifax does give an actual FICO score which makes them useful.
Getting a Real FICO Score
FICO scores used to be given out through MyFICO.com, but they no longer can be acquired. Today, most consumers need to rely on adjusted scores or different types of credit score if they want to determine whether they will qualify for a loan. The only exception is the Equifax FICO which is still available to consumers.
Lenders Can Help
One easy and quick way, if a little tricky, to get a look at all your credit scores is to call a mortgage lender and ask them to prequalify you for a loan. Most lenders will be able to pull all three credit scores for you and then give them to you, and this will give you a good idea of where you stand. This is a free method, but the only issue is that it will ding your credit report, sometimes substantially.