Maintaining good credit is essential. However, your credit scores can vary across different credit bureaus, leaving you wondering why. Let’s explore five reasons why your credit scores may differ across the three main bureaus as well as other models. (you could have 3 phones 1 with Experian, 1 with Equifax and 1 with Transunion–OR the 3 logos?)
Different Credit Scoring Models:
Credit bureaus use various credit scoring models, such as FICO, VantageScore, and others, to calculate your credit score. Each model has its algorithms and criteria, which can result in different scores. For example, FICO and VantageScore models use different scoring ranges and consider different factors when calculating your score.
Timing of Credit Reports:
The credit bureaus may not receive the same information from creditors at the same time, which can result in different credit reports and scores. For instance, if a creditor reports an account update to one bureau and not the other, the credit scores across bureaus will differ.
Credit Report Errors:
Credit report errors, such as inaccurate account information, can affect your credit score differently across bureaus. Each credit bureau has its own process for handling disputes, and the time taken to correct an error may vary. Additionally, some bureaus may not include all the same information on your report.
Your credit utilization, or the amount of credit you’re using compared to your credit limit, can vary across your various credit accounts, which can result in different credit scores. For example, if you have a credit card with a high balance and low credit limit, it will affect your credit utilization differently from a credit card with a low balance and high credit limit. We have seen cases where credit utilization has not been updated on the same card across all 3 bureaus, or there will be some variation. Ultimately, this error does get corrected.
Different Credit Histories:
You may have different accounts reporting on individual bureaus. As an example, we had a client some years ago that had a mortgage with a small midwestern bank that only reported to Equifax. This client had a credit score with Equifax that was a 740, but because his mortgage was his only installment tradeline (account), his Experian and Transunion scores were both at around 720.
As I mentioned earlier in this post, you have Vantage, FICO and other different models.
The thought that I will leave you with is that IF the information contained on your credit reports from Experian, Equifax and Transunion–don’t allow yourself to get caught up in the rabbit hole of ‘why are my scores different’.
You will not find an answer beyond the information I have provided above, and furthermore–there is not a thing you can do to have them reflect the same score. What’s most important is making sure the information that is contained in the reports is correct.
About Harry Jacobs:
Harry Jacobs is the Founder of Credit Restoration of Nevada. He is widely regarded as one of the experts in the field of credit, credit repair and credit restoration. His knowledge of Fair Debt Collection Practices and the Fair Credit Reporting Act make him a tremendous resource for consumers and consumer law firms.