In short, FICO is more transparent than the three credit bureaus and, most times, the least costly for all parties involved. However, reports from the three credit bureaus are vital to monitor your progress on your journey to that ideal credit score so that you can get the best loan rates and credit cards.
The most accurate credit scores are the latest versions of the FICO Score and VantageScore credit-scoring models: FICO Score 8 and VantageScore 3.0.
Are FICO, Equifax, TransUnion & Experian the Same? No. In fact, FICO has one role while Equifax, Experian & TransUnion have another regarding your credit score. While the terms are used interchangeably and largely seen as synonymous in reality they couldn't be further from mirror images of one another.
Which credit score matters the most? While there's no exact answer to which credit score matters most, lenders have a clear favorite: FICO® Scores are used in over 90% of lending decisions.
The base FICO® Scores range from 300 to 850, and FICO defines the "good" range as 670 to 739. FICO®'s industry-specific credit scores have a different range—250 to 900. However, the middle categories have the same groupings and a "good" industry-specific FICO® Score is still 670 to 739.
The scoring model used in mortgage applications
While the FICO® 8 model is the most widely used scoring model for general lending decisions, banks use the following FICO scores when you apply for a mortgage: FICO® Score 2 (Experian) FICO® Score 5 (Equifax)
A good score with TransUnion and VantageScore® 3.0 is between 720 and 780. As your score climbs through and above this range, you can benefit from the increased freedom and flexibility healthy credit brings. Some people want to achieve a score of 850, the highest credit score possible.
The credit bureaus may have different information.
And a lender may report updates to different bureaus at different times. So, it's possible that Equifax and TransUnion could have different credit information on your reports, which could lead to your TransUnion score differing from your Equifax score.
Does a credit check lower your score? Checking your credit score on your own, which is a soft credit check or inquiry, doesn't hurt your credit score. But when a creditor or lender runs a credit check, that's often a hard credit check, which could affect your credit score.
The commonly used FICO® Scores for mortgage lending are: FICO® Score 2, or Experian/Fair Isaac Risk Model v2. FICO® Score 5, or Equifax Beacon 5. FICO® Score 4, or TransUnion FICO® Risk Score 04.
This is mainly because of two reasons: For one, lenders may pull your credit from different credit bureaus, whether it is Experian, Equifax or TransUnion. Your score can then differ based on what bureau your credit report is pulled from since they don't all receive the same information about your credit accounts.
When the scores are significantly different across bureaus, it is likely the underlying data in the credit bureaus is different and thus driving that observed score difference.
Lenders most commonly use the FICO® Score to make lending decisions, and in particular, the FICO® Score 8 is the most popular version for general use. If you've taken an interest in the health of your credit and how lenders will view it, checking your FICO® Score 8 is a smart place to start.
In general, lenders look for borrowers in the prime range or better, so you will need a score of 661 or higher to qualify for most conventional car loans.
A FICO® Score of 650 places you within a population of consumers whose credit may be seen as Fair. Your 650 FICO® Score is lower than the average U.S. credit score. Statistically speaking, 28% of consumers with credit scores in the Fair range are likely to become seriously delinquent in the future.
The credit scores and reports you see on Credit Karma should accurately reflect your credit information as reported by those bureaus. This means a couple of things: The scores we provide are actual credit scores pulled from two of the major consumer credit bureaus, not just estimates of your credit rating.
A 710 credit score is a good credit score. The good-credit range includes scores of 700 to 749, while an excellent credit score is 750 to 850, and people with scores this high are in a good position to qualify for the best possible mortgages, auto loans and credit cards, among other things.
Credit Karma touts that it will always be free to the consumers who use its website or mobile app. But how accurate is Credit Karma? In some cases, as seen in an example below, Credit Karma may be off by 20 to 25 points.
Although ranges vary depending on the credit scoring model, generally credit scores from 580 to 669 are considered fair; 670 to 739 are considered good; 740 to 799 are considered very good; and 800 and up are considered excellent.
While you don't need a perfect 850 credit score to get the best mortgage rates, there are general credit score requirements you will need to meet in order to take out a mortgage. Prospective home buyers should aim to have credit scores of 760 or greater to qualify for the best interest rates on mortgages.
Borrowers with FICO® Scores of 650 are likely to be offered adjustable-rate mortgage (ARM) loans, with introductory interest rates that apply for a set number of years—typically one, but sometimes three, five, seven or even 10—and then change annually.
Minimum FHA loan credit score requirement
The minimum credit score to qualify for an FHA loan is 580 with a down payment of 3.5 percent. If you can bump up your down payment to at least 10 percent, you can have a credit score as low as 500 and still qualify.