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What credit sites actually show real scores?
August 22, 2014 1:44 PM   Subscribe

I need to find out my updated credit scores. I've already used up my once a year free inquiry back in April. I've used sites like credit.com and creditkarma but their scores are "modeled" scores and not the real thing. Where can I get accurate reporting on score numbers from the Big 3 bureaus?

Even going directly to a credit bureau site like Experian, I am warned that the score/report I am trying to purchase is "Calculated on the PLUS Score model, your Experian Credit Score indicates your relative credit risk level for educational purposes and is not the score used by lenders."

I want to know my score because I paid off major delinquent accounts 2-3 months ago and would like to know how they are reflected in my scores from the 3 major bureaus. But I want to do this without the hard pull of a credit check at the bank. I'm willing to pay $20 to $40 for the service. But I'm baffled by all the web sites out there selling scores that are not accurate.

I'm interested to hear what others have done in my situation. Thanks.
posted by caveatz to Work & Money (7 answers total) 9 users marked this as a favorite
 
At the moment I'm using myfico.com, which is a non-cheap pay site ($15/mo), but gives me what I'm pretty sure is my "real" score whenever I want, and emails me when it changes. (I opted in to the emails).

Lately, I've noticed an uptick in credit cards offering a free score to their customers- it recently appeared on my Discover and Capital One accounts. So a card you already have might give it to you for free, though it's somewhat limited- eg, I think Capital One only gives me one score per month, while myfico.com can tell me my score on any given day.
posted by drjimmy11 at 1:52 PM on August 22 [2 favorites]


Even going directly to a credit bureau site like Experian, I am warned that the score/report I am trying to purchase is "Calculated on the PLUS Score model, your Experian Credit Score indicates your relative credit risk level for educational purposes and is not the score used by lenders."

Btw I think this might be a bit confusing: What they seem to be saying is that lenders have their own arcane formulas that they use to make a decision. If it's coming straight from Experian, I'd think it's at least as "real" as the ones I'm getting from MyFico and my credit card issuers, since all they do is query Experian or one of the other bureaus. Don't take this as gospel, but that's what it sounds like to me.
posted by drjimmy11 at 1:53 PM on August 22


I don't know if this still works, but with the free credit report, I think you can choose from three different agencies. I'm pretty sure I've gotten my free credit report more than once a year by just selecting a different agency than I had used last time. Maybe they've closed that loophole now, but you can try.
posted by AppleTurnover at 2:02 PM on August 22


Each of the three bureaus has their own model, which is why you get a different score from each one. CreditKarma claims they get your score directly from TransUnion, one of the three bureaus. Discover gives you your FICO score, which should be pretty close to what you get from the bureaus, since they use the same model. Either one ought to be pretty close to the score a bank would get reported to them, and good enough to tell you if your credit has improved since you paid off the accounts.
posted by ubiquity at 2:03 PM on August 22 [1 favorite]


These days, you have many scores, not just one.

There is an auto credit score, a credit card credit score, a mortgage credit score, an insurance credit score etc. with different weights for different pieces of your credit history based on what you're applying for.

And there are even a few different types of each now, because there's FICO and there's Vantage, and there's PLUS, which is an Experian product.

Here's an article about the three.

So there's no way to see THE ONE NUMBER that your bank will see when they pull your credit, because you do not know which score they use and which flavor. I guess the thing to know is where you fall on the scale of the score you're using, and then just go with the percentile. (A lot of them will say, for example, "you're better than 80% of borrowers or whatever.)
posted by rabbitrabbit at 2:12 PM on August 22 [1 favorite]


To echo what drjimmy11 said, several of my credit cards offer free FICO scores. I get mine monthly with my Discover bill - no effort necessary.
posted by PorcineWithMe at 2:15 PM on August 22


By the way, myfico.com offers a price break when you buy scores for all three credit bureaus, and there are a ton of discount codes floating around on the internet to bump the price down some more. That's what I'd do if I just wanted a peek at my scores.
posted by rabbitrabbit at 2:20 PM on August 22 [1 favorite]


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