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Why do Experian, Equifax and TransUnion differ so much in score?

Experian, Equifax and TransUnion provide the information used to calculate credit scores in the form of a credit report. The three credit bureaus don’t actually calculate a score. There are actually many different credit scoring formulas, called “models,” from a number of companies including FICO and VantageScore. The reason the scores differ is that the formulas used to calculate the scores are different, even though the information used in the calculation is the same.

Not only do different credit scoring models weigh things differently, they can also have different numerical ranges, so a score of 700 on one model may mean something very different than a score of 700 on another model.

When exactly the same scoring model is used to do the calculation, the number might vary a bit if the information from each of the bureaus is slightly different For example, not all creditors report to the same credit reporting companies, and updates may not be made at the same time at all three credit reporting companies.

When looking at credit scores, it is important to focus not on the number, but on the factors that are affecting the score you received. When you order a credit score through Experian, those factors are provided to you to help you understand how you can improve your credit score in the future.

While the numbers can be quite different, the risk factors tend to be very consistent. By focusing on the factors you will improve your credit history and make all of your scores better.

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Join our live video chat every Tuesday and Thursday at 2:30 p.m. ET on Periscope. Rod Griffin, Director of Public Education at Experian, is available to answer your questions live.

Scoped on: 03/29/2016

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