If you’ve ever pulled your credit score from multiple sites and noticed that they differ, you are not alone. It’s understandable to be bewildered when you find one site reports a lower score than another. But why does it happen? Let’s break down why your credit score varies by site.
The Different Credit Reporting Agencies
Your credit score is based on the information contained in your credit report, which is compiled by three major credit reporting agencies (CRAs): Experian, Equifax, and TransUnion.
Each CRA collects data from lenders and other financial institutions in order to compile your credit report. Because each CRA uses different methods for collecting information and evaluating it, the data can vary greatly between the three CRAs. This means that one CRA may have more up-to-date information than the others – or even outdated information – which can lead to discrepancies between sites.
The Different Credit Scoring Models
Another reason why your score may vary by site is because of the different scoring models used by each site. The most widely used model is FICO®, but there are many other scoring models out there such as VantageScore® and TransRisk® Score, among others.
Each model evaluates a person’s creditworthiness differently and uses different criteria for determining a person’s overall score. So even if all three CRAs have essentially the same information about you, a different model may produce a slightly different result because of how it weighs certain factors differently than other models do.
The Differences in What Sites Show You
Finally, some sites only show part of your overall credit picture while others show more detailed information about specific aspects of your finances such as loans or investments. For example, Credit Karma only shows you two of the three main CRAs (Experian and TransUnion) while Quizzle shows all three (Experian, Equifax, and TransUnion). As such, these sites could provide varying results due to having access to different parts of your financial history.
It’s understandable to be confused when you notice that your credit score varies from site to site; however it’s important to remember that this variance isn’t necessarily bad news! The differences are usually minor and simply reflect the fact that each site uses its own scoring model or has access to a slightly different set of data from one or more of the major CRAs. Knowing this should help assuage any anxiety over discrepancies in scores between sites so that you can stay focused on building good financial habits for yourself!