Common Misunderstandings Surrounding Credit Scores

Misleading Scores

Credit bureaus Experian and TransUnion package their own private scores and sell them as “credit scores.” These scores, known as the PLUS Score and Vantage Score, are not the FICO scores that lenders use when judging loan applications. It is very confusing for consumers to purchase “credit scores” with the assumption they will receive the FICO score. The PLUS score and Vantage score barely resemble the FICO score. Equifax, the third main credit bureau, does sell an actual FICO score to consumers. However, this FICO calculation is only taken from the Equifax database, creating only one-third of a complete FICO score. Although this third can be very informative to the consumer.

Lenders and Credit Scores

Although consumers are receiving misleading credit scores, credit bureaus will sell actual FICO scores to lenders. For whatever reason, Experian and TransUnion have chosen to keep FICO scores away from consumers. Unfortunately, until all three credit bureaus choose to sell FICO scores to consumers, it will not be simple for a consumer to receive a complete FICO score.