March 5, 2017

Are Credit Scores that Credit Cards Provide Legit?

Simple. Thrifty. Living.

Reader Question: My credit card company just sent me a bill and my credit score was on it. Is this an accurate score? Should I trust it?

Answer: The credit score that many credit cards are now giving their customers are completely legit. They are providing what is called your FICO score. It is not the same score that you get from free sites like Credit Karma or other credit monitoring services.

The free credit score you get from a credit report monitoring site and the credit score you get on your credit card statement are different. Not only are they calculated differently, the range they use is different. The FICO score range starts at 300 and goes all the way up to 850, which is the highest credit score you can get from FICO. VantageScore, which many credit report monitoring services use, scores range from 501 to 990. Equifax uses a range from 280 to 850. So you can see where it can be confusing.

So which is better? The FICO score. It is the score that credit lenders and banks use to determine your credit worthiness. It is the gold standard when it comes to knowing your credit score. The other scores calculate your credit worthiness in a similar way, but can be off by 100 points, even when you adjust the range they use to be in line with the FICO range.

This is why credit card companies are providing consumers with their FICO credit scores, to cut down on the confusion. Right now, the U.S. Consumer Financial Protection Bureau is calling for all credit card companies to include the scores.

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