Many people like to purchase their FICO scores at the start of their credit repair service to establish a benchmark for their progress. Unfortunately, consumers can no longer purchase all three FICO scores; Experian no longer allows Fair Isaac Corp to sell the Experian FICO score via the MyFICO.com website. Confused? You’re not alone. Here is the lowdown on the credit score debacle and some thoughts on how you can work around it and still get everything you need for your credit repair success.
FICO Scores vs. Credit Bureau Scores
The credit scores that lenders use are called FICO scores. FICO is an acronym for Fair Isaac Corp, the creator of the scoring model. Fair Isaac licenses the use of their scoring software to the bureaus who in turn sell the FICO scores to lenders. In a perfect world the credit bureaus would sell the same scores to consumers; if you pay money for credit scores you want to see the scores that lenders see. Unfortunately, the credit bureaus do not sell FICO scores to consumers. Instead they have created “educational” scores and packaged them with no obvious disclosure of the fact that these bureau scores are not the scores that lenders use. And, even worse, these bureau scores can vary dramatically from FICO scores, leaving consumers confused and upset when they apply for a loan and are told that their real scores are far from their expectations.
Experian Opts Out
Until recently, if you wanted to purchase your FICO scores for credit repair, or any other reason, you could buy them at MyFICO.com. But as of February 13, 2009 Experian stopped allowing Fair Isaac to sell the Experian FICO. Don’t think too hard about it, there is no doubt that the logic behind the decision was financially based. Consumer advocates have come out in force to complain about the Experian move, but to no avail. The fact remains; you can no longer purchase an Experian FICO score.
Working Around Experian
You can still purchase your TransUnion and Equifax FICO scores, and chances are good that your Experian score will be in the same vicinity. But this is not always the case. I suggest that you compare the content of your Experian report with that of the other two bureaus. If there are any significant differences you may have cause for concern. If you are in our credit repair program we will evaluate the differences and advise you of any actions that should be taken to rectify the issue. And as a final thought, if you plan to apply for a mortgage in the near future you might consider contacting your friendly mortgage broker and asking them to run your credit; they might be happy to provide you with a copy of your credit report which will have all three genuine FICO scores.