Why Are My Credit Scores Different??


We often talk to folks who are ready to buy a house, and they have the credit scores that they get for free every year.  Well, those scores are not the same as the scores you get for a mortgage credit report.  In fact OUR Credit Score numbers and the ones they send you, are almost always DIFFERENT!

Okay- so by now you know that you will have 3 credit scores – at least this is what we’re working towards – and we want scores that are over 700.

But since the credit scores are for the SAME person… you might think (logically) they would be the SAME.  Right?  I’ve NEVER seen 3 scores that were the same – and I’m old as dirt and I’ve seen a TON of stuff!

fico scores

Okay – so there will almost always be some minor differences in your scores across the three credit bureaus because of the slightly different scoring models, significant score differences can result from the following situations:

  • Not all credit scores are “FICO” scores developed by Fair Isaac Corporation.  Experian and TransUnion use a different score system than Equifax, who uses FICO.
  • All of your credit information may not be reported to all three credit bureaus. The information on your credit report is supplied by lenders, collection agencies and court records. We’ve seen MANY cases where a small creidt union would only report to one bureau.  Because of this, all three bureaus will have different information.
  • You may have applied for credit under different names (for example, Robert Jones versus Bob Jones) or a maiden name, which may cause fragmented or incomplete files at the credit reporting agencies.  Have you ever heard of a situation where a father’s credit and his son’s were all mixed up?
  • And here’s another “biggie!”  Lenders report credit information to the credit bureaus at different times, often resulting in one agency having more up-to-date information than another. Maybe Sears updates to Equifax on the 12th, and TransUnion on the 20th and Experian on the 30th.  It’s bound to be a big file of data – so that makes sense.  But it’s going to mean that Equifax and Experian have a 15 point difference in information…

The Minimum Credit Score required for most mortgage programs is 620. This means that 2 of the 3 credit scores need to be OVER 620…  In some cases the minimum score is 640.  If your scores are in the HIGH 500’s, or LOW 600’s – we might be able to help you raise them enough to buy a house in NC.  Please call Steve and Eleanor Thorne, Mortgage Banker in Cary , 919-649-5058


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