Why Your Credit Karma Seems Too High

People on Twitter have been sympathetic lately about how much higher their free credit score is on credit karma compared to what lenders actually use, as many have learned that their “excellent” credit is simply a good or worse score.

Why inaccuracy?

Many people think that there is only one credit rating, but in reality there are many. The most common reference is your FICO score, which is used in 90% of lending decisions. There is also VantageScore, which is a competitor to FICO and is similar in that both scores range from 300 to 850, with a higher number indicating greater creditworthiness.

To confuse matters, both FICO and VantageScore have different versions of the score that may or may not be used by a given lender, such as software updates. For example, any of the three national credit bureaus may use different FICO scores for different loan categories, such as car loans (often FICO Auto Score 8) or credit cards (often FICO Bankcard Score 8).

In addition, each of the three national consumer credit bureaus offer their own scores, which are usually provided by VantageScore . The VantageScore itself is a legitimate credit score, but the scoring model has a different weight than the FICO, so it gives different scores.

There are usually minor scoring differences, but according to Investopedia , credit karma scores derived from VantageScore data provided by two major credit bureaus, TransUnion and Equifax, tend to be much higher than FICO scores – hence the memes.

How to check your FICO credit score

All credit ratings are based on your credit report, so to truly stay on top of your credit rating, you need to check your credit report at least once a year. By checking your report, you may find errors or possible identity theft (such as someone setting up a new credit card account in your name) that affects your credit score. check your FICO score in advance in the next few months. You can get it through your credit card company or through AnnualCreditReport.com , the only official site that provides free credit reports from all three credit bureaus.

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