Where is the best place to get free credit scores for the 3 services that do credit scores?
Terry Says: Well, there are several credit scores. The most commonly used by banks and financial institutions to grant loans is likely one of many versions of the FICO score (that stands for Fair Isaac Co, the company that first created the score). But several of the major credit bureaus have created the Vantage score, which closely tracks the FICO score. Either will give you a good approximation of your credit standing.
You can get a free Vantage score at Credit.com. You can go to www.MyFICO.com to get a free “estimated range of score” that will give you a good approximation though not the exact FICO score. (And there are many FICO scores, since now they have slightly different algorithms for each bureau) To get the FICO “Ultimate 3B” score you must pay $29.95 — and sign up for a monthly subscription for that same amount every month, which you must be sure to cancel during the initial period (a real trap with many “free” score offers). Get a Discover card and your FICO score is printed on your monthly statement. And now TranUnion, one of the major credit bureaus, and FICO have created a combined “New Account Score”!
Astounding but true — they all have slightly different calculations, and slightly different scales for measuring scores. So you’ll never really know what your lender is using if you try to get your score on your own!