Anyone who has applied for a home loan probably has some familiarity with the importance of having a strong FICO score. FICO stands for Fair Isaac Company. There are three major bureaus that provide credit information (Experian, Equifax and TransUnion). These bureaus got together and created a competing score called the VantageScore. CreditKarma explained, “The VantageScore offers additional features, such as predictive scoring and a 24-month review of credit history, that the classic FICO model doesn’t incorporate.” For a comparison of the Vantage Score to the FICO score, click here.
This new score has a different scale. Experian, Equifax and TransUnion used a score that ranged from 300 to 850. This new VantageScore has a range from 501 to 990. This has led to some confusion as to how these scores compare. Lenders usually charge consumers to check their credit. They obtain the three scores from the major bureaus and generally use the middle score to base the lending rate that they offer the borrower. Some lenders have begun to use the VantageScore. For more information see: What Credit Scores to Mortgage Lenders Use?
Borrowers may want to obtain their score in order to repair any issues prior to applying for a loan. This can cost them around $20 if they want to receive a full Equifax or TransUnion score. Experian does not offer reports to consumers.
There are some other free options for credit reports. These include:
CreditKarma.com – Offers a TransUnion Transrisk and Vantage Score report.
CreditSesame.com – Offers Experian National Equivalency Score
Credit.com – Offers Vantage Score
While many sites offer different reporting options like these, they may not show exactly the same scores that the lender will obtain when they receive all three major bureau reports. Consumers, who apply for a loan and have paid to have their credit checked, can ask for a copy of their credit report from their lender.