Did you know that you have FOUR separately maintained credit scores all of which can have profound consequences regarding the quality of your life? The screen shot you see just below this paragraph is my online TransUnion reported credit scores of 771 TU, 821 Experian, and 763 Equifax. I pay $29.95 per month for the right to view all three credit scores? Why? We are about to close on the house of our dreams and I do not want any surprises come closing time. Can you hear the music? High credit scores translate to super low-interest rates on your home mortgage nowadays.
So if keeping up with three different credit reports from three different for-profit companies is not challenging enough for you, then let me present to you yet a fourth credit report maintained by FICO. As you can see from the screen shot below, my FICO credit score is 770 which indicates my credit worthiness is higher than 72% of all Americans and that I can get the best interest rates available. FICO advertises themselves as the most widely used credit score by lenders. Their web site claims that 90% of all lenders use their score as the authoritative source for determining their lending risk. I know that Prime Source lending does not use the FICO score, so I guess Prime Source is in the other 10%. PrimeSource uses the middle credit score of the three provided by Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion.
Finally, I want to close with yet another complication: The range for the FICO score is from 300-850. The range for Experian, Equifax, and TransUnion is 501-990. This is a classic example of how capitalism can lead to competing standards at the expense of the consumer!! Why is my credit score the property of 4 different companies and why in the F……K do I have to pay for it!!!???? If you want a little more breadth and depth into the cause and nature of all this credit score confusion, check out the well written piece by Teresa Dixon Murray, The Plain Dealer