Understanding Credit Score Differences

Understanding Credit Score Differences

September 8, 2016

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Equifax, Experian and TransUnion, these are the three national credit bureaus that collect, update and store credit histories on U.S. consumers. While most of the information that they gather is the same, the results are sometimes different. If you’ve ever wondered why credit score differences occur, then this article will answer all your questions.

But why would my score be different if the information is the same?

If each one of the three bureaus gives you a different score, know that there’s not necessarily one, but numerous reasons for this. Here are some of the most common:

1. Different scoring models

There are many scoring models out there. If you want to compare your credit scores, make sure that they were calculated using the same model. Otherwise, the results will vary, as each credit bureau stores and calculates your scores differently.

2. Different information

Another thing that may vary is the information used to calculate your scores. This is uncommon. Some lenders don’t report to all three credit bureaus, only to one or two of them. And there’s also the possibility that your information is updated at different times at each bureau. These can all lead to different credit scores.

3. Different dates

You need to make sure that you compare credit scores from the same date.

4. Human error

Don’t believe that the credit bureaus or your lenders can’t be wrong. That’s why it’s important that you check your credit reports and make sure no errors occur. They can have very bad consequences.


The three credit bureaus can use dozens of different credit score models to calculate your score. It all depends on the lenders and what they want to know. A mortgage lender will definitely ask for something different than an auto lender, because they’re both interested in different things. However, the information that they use is still the same. So, if you take care of your credit and make all the necessary payments on time, you can rest assured that your credit score will remain high.

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