What Credit Scores Can I Get Online?
FICO scores are the most familiar credit scores available to consumers which were built by the company, FICO, using each of the three major credit reporting agencies (CRA) data – Equifax, Experian and TransUnion. These scores are also sold to credit grantors to make credit decisions. Consumers can purchase FICO scores from FICO and Equifax. As of February 14, 2009, Experian stopped selling FICO scores to consumers.
Other companies offer scores to consumers mainly for credit score monitoring and credit education purposes. I have listed some of the key companies below in alphabetical order:
CreditXpert Inc. – Developed credit scores called CreditXpert Scores that are available in Identity Guard (owned by Intersections) and PrivacyGuard (owned by Trilegiant Corporation). Both companies offer the CredtXpert score on data from all three CRAs; score range is 350 to 850.
Equifax – Equifax sells the Equifax Credit Score and the Equifax FICO score. The Equifax Credit Score is a proprietary score built by Equifax with a score range is 280-850. It is available on all three of the credit reports via Equifax.
Experian – Experian offers the Experian PLUS score, which is a proprietary score built by Experian; the score range is 330 to 830. It is on all three credit reports and available at several websites including experian.com, freecreditscore.com and consumerinfo.com. Experian sells VantageScore based on their data only at Experian.com website.
SmartCredit – SmartCredit.com gives away three scores for consumers as a part of their subscription service and it’s their proprietary score. They offer a traditional credit score, an insurance score and an auto loan score.
TransUnion – TransUnion sells the VantageScore, which has a range of 501 to 990. This is their competing score to the FICO score. TransUnion also develops and sells a score called the TransRisk score.
Some of these companies offer credit monitoring along with their credit scores. Keep in mind that the only scores used by lenders via these sites are FICO, Vantage and TransRisk. If you are looking for another way to gauge your credit score, you may want to consider the variety of score simulators available on the Internet.
John Ulzheimer is the President of Consumer Education at SmartCredit.com, the credit blogger for Mint.com, and a Contributor for the National Foundation for Credit Counseling. He is an expert on credit reporting, credit scoring and identity theft. Formerly of FICO, Equifax and Credit.com, John is the only recognized credit expert who actually comes from the credit industry. Follow him on Twitter here.