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Why are my scores at each of the three CRAs different?


In general, when people talk about “your credit score,” they’re talking about your FICO® Scores. But in fact, your FICO® Scores are calculated separately by each of the three consumer reporting agencies (CRAs)—using a formula that FICO has developed. It’s normal for your FICO® Scores from each CRA to be different for any of the following reasons:

  • Your FICO® Scores are based on the credit information in your credit file at a particular CRA at the time your score is calculated. The information in your credit files is supplied by lenders, collection agencies and court records. Some of these sources may provide your information to just one or two of the CRAs, not all three. Differences in the underlying credit data will often result in differences in your FICO® Scores. 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 CRAs. In rare situations, this can result in your credit files not having certain account information, or including information that should be on someone else’s credit files. This is one reason why it is important for you to review your credit files at least annually.
  • Lenders may report your credit information to one credit reporting agency today, and to another credit reporting agency tomorrow. This can result in one agency having more up-to-date information which in turn can cause differences in your FICO® Scores from both agencies.
  • The CRAs may record the same information in slightly different ways which can affect your FICO® Scores.
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