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.
Neither score is more or less accurate than the other; they're only being calculated from slightly differing sources. Your Equifax credit score is more likely to appear lower than your TransUnion one because of the reporting differences, but a “fair” score from TransUnion is typically “fair” across the board.
Although Experian is the largest credit bureau in the U.S., TransUnion and Equifax are widely considered to be just as accurate and important. When it comes to credit scores, however, there is a clear winner: FICO® Score is used in 90% of lending decisions.
Our Verdict: Credit Karma has better credit monitoring and more features, but Experian actually gives you your “real” credit score. Plus it offers the wonderful Experian Boost tool. Since they're both free, it's worth it to get both of them.
Experian's advantage over FICO is that the information it provides is more thorough than a simple number. A pair of borrowers could both have 700 FICO scores but vastly different credit histories.
An Equifax credit score isn't used by lenders or creditors to assess a consumers' creditworthiness. Instead, many lenders use FICO Scores® to help determine a potential borrower's creditworthiness. FICO uses credit scores from the three reporting agencies, including Equifax and Transunion, to determine their score.
While both TransUnion and Experian have some similarities, Experian offers a more robust suite of consumer services. It also reveals your FICO Score 8—the score most lenders use—which can give you a better idea of what lenders see than the VantageScore that TransUnion provides.
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.
This is due to a variety of factors, such as the many different credit score brands, score variations and score generations in commercial use at any given time. These factors are likely to yield different credit scores, even if your credit reports are identical across the three credit bureaus—which is also unusual.
While Experian compiles your credit report and determines your credit score, Credit Karma simply shows you credit scores and report information from Equifax and TransUnion. Think of it this way — Credit Karma is like a newspaper that writes about the credit scores other companies give you.
In conclusion, auto lenders use Equifax and Experian the most, while TransUnion is less used for auto loan credit checks, at least in some parts of the US.
This is because there are 3 credit bureaus and dozens of different scoring models. Differences in which report is pulled, which scoring model is used, and what information is reported to whom and when, can all have an impact on the credit score you are viewing.
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.
The main difference is Experian grades it between 0 – 1000, while Equifax grades the score between 0 – 1200. This means that there is not only a clear 200 point difference between these two bureaus but the “perfect scores” are also different, which is 1000 as reported by Experian and 1200 as reported by Equifax.
Equifax credit scores are not used by lenders and creditors to assess consumers' creditworthiness. FICO scores are general purpose credit scores developed by the Fair Isaac Corporation, which are used by lenders and creditors to help assess consumers' creditworthiness.
Payment History Is the Most Important Factor of Your Credit Score. Payment history accounts for 35% of your FICO® Score.
The credit scores and credit reports you see on Credit Karma come directly from TransUnion and Equifax, two of the three major consumer credit bureaus. They should accurately reflect your credit information as reported by those bureaus — but they may not match other reports and scores out there.
The middle credit score is most significant when buying a house because mortgage companies ignore the highest and lowest number provided by Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion.
It's generally recommended that you have two to three credit card accounts at a time, in addition to other types of credit. Remember that your total available credit and your debt to credit ratio can impact your credit scores. If you have more than three credit cards, it may be hard to keep track of monthly payments.
How to access your report. You can request a free copy of your credit report from each of three major credit reporting agencies – Equifax®, Experian®, and TransUnion® – once each year at AnnualCreditReport.com or call toll-free 1-877-322-8228.
Scores between 566-603 are considered Fair. Scores between 604-627 are considered Good. Scores 628 and above are considered Excellent.
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.
PenFed Credit Union is the only loan company that uses only your Equifax credit data. In most cases, you won't be able to determine beforehand which credit bureaus your lender will use.
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.
If you have a 700 credit score on Experian and a 680 on Equifax, the 680 score would be used. If the mortgage company pulls credit from all three bureaus, the middle score will be used. If you have a 700 on Experian, 680 on Equifax and 660 on TransUnion, the 680 score would be used.