U.S. CitiesCity-Data Forum Index
Go Back   City-Data Forum > General Forums > Economics > Personal Finance
 [Register]
Please register to participate in our discussions with 2 million other members - it's free and quick! Some forums can only be seen by registered members. After you create your account, you'll be able to customize options and access all our 15,000 new posts/day with fewer ads.
View detailed profile (Advanced) or search
site with Google Custom Search

Search Forums  (Advanced)
 
 
Old 12-23-2008, 03:13 PM
 
9,183 posts, read 16,569,816 times
Reputation: 21657

Advertisements

I see those commercials lately about your credit score being a number from 300-850. I had pulled my credit report in the past, but never got the score(s). So being the kind of person who had to get A+'s instead of A's, and who liked to be in the top percentile on the GRE's, I just had to pay the small fees and get my credit scores from all 3 credit reporting agencies.

I did it through AnnualCreditReport.com https://www.annualcreditreport.com/cra/index.jsp, which is the official way to get your free credit reports without someone trying to sell you credit protection and monitoring. Through this site, you connect to each of the 3 Credit reporting agencies, Equifax, Experian, and Transunion, where you can get your credit report (the whole long document) for free once a year, or for a small fee (Equifax $7.95, Experian $5.95, and Transunion $7.95) get the credit scores too.

Here's what I learned, so I hope it helps others.

The idea of a "credit score" is misleading because they all use different scoring methods. It's like being in a school that makes a 93-100 an A, when other schools make 90-100 an A, and you all apply to the same college.

The FICO Score, it seems, is the score the commercials talk about. It (sort of) goes from 300-850, but in many places it says it goes from "about 300 to about 850" or other equally nebulous descriptions. The FICO score was created by an outfit called Fair Isaac so that lenders and credit reporting agencies could all use the same scoring method. Here's info on the FICO:
Save Money with a Good FICO Credit Score: Credit Education at myFICO Sounds great so far, but...

It seems that when I got my three scores, they were 810, 942, and 942. I understand that there can be some small variation between the 3 credit reporting agencies due to them each having small bits of info that the others don't have, but there's a big difference between 810 and 942! Besides, I had just read all about the FICO score going from 300-850, so what gives? As nice as it would be, I know I'm not so superior!

It seems that 810 was my FICO score (about an A in my book, alas, not an A+) and that the 942 is a different kind of credit score that the other two use called the Vantage Score. That score goes from 501-990. My 942 put me in their "super prime" range, which looks like an A+, but darn it, I wanted a 990. Wonder if it's even possible!

So if any of you get your "credit score" ask which it is, the FICO or the Vantage. Also, ask your potential lender which score they use. It might be easy to say "they have a cut off at 700" but a 700 FICO score is very different than a 700 Vantage score.

Here's a site that I found very informative:
Your Credit Score: How It All Adds Up

I learned that even intelligent, educated people have all sorts of myths & misconceptions about credit reports and cedit scores. So I didn't feel like such a dummy. We've all heard those myths and conflicting advice:
Is it better to have a bunch of credit cards with high limits and low or zero balances, or should I close the credit card accounts I'm not using?
Do I lose points every time someone checks my credit? What about when I check my own credit?
If I'm short on money this month, should I pay the Visa card or my phone bill?
Does my salary factor into my credit rating?

Anyway, hope this helps someone. Here's a great little booklet about the FICO score and what does and doesn't affect your credit (most of it is true even if you're talking about the Vantage score; the numbers are just different.)http://www.myfico.com/Downloads/File...FS_Booklet.pdf

Last edited by Tracysherm; 12-23-2008 at 03:25 PM..
Quick reply to this message

 
Old 12-23-2008, 04:28 PM
 
Location: Southwest Missouri
1,921 posts, read 5,364,558 times
Reputation: 910
Quote:
Originally Posted by TracySam View Post
It seems that 810 was my FICO score (about an A in my book, alas, not an A+)
Better double check your grade book. An 810 is an A+ if you look at the percentage of people who have scores at that point or above.

Thanks for the info on different credit scales. It's handy to know!
Quick reply to this message
 
Old 12-23-2008, 04:50 PM
 
9,183 posts, read 16,569,816 times
Reputation: 21657
But I'd be happier if it were like 840
Quick reply to this message
 
Old 12-24-2008, 08:17 AM
 
Location: Southwest Missouri
1,921 posts, read 5,364,558 times
Reputation: 910
Perhaps, but there's no real-world difference between 810 and 840. Both are going to get you the best rates and put you in the top tier of borrowers.
Quick reply to this message
 
Old 12-24-2008, 09:58 AM
 
9,183 posts, read 16,569,816 times
Reputation: 21657
you obviously don't understand my neuroses
Quick reply to this message
 
Old 12-24-2008, 10:54 AM
 
Location: Southwest Missouri
1,921 posts, read 5,364,558 times
Reputation: 910
Oh, I understand. Just trying to help a fellow perfectionist.
Quick reply to this message
 
Old 12-25-2008, 08:51 AM
 
2,640 posts, read 4,790,665 times
Reputation: 2341
Know that the VantageScore might be all well and good, but nobody is using it for credit qualification yet. FICO is the standard, and will continue to be the standard until the banks decide to change, which won't be soon, I assure you.

One of the downsides (as far as the banks consider) to VantageScore is that it actually, ironically, scores your report more fairly based on its contents and not its past. That of course means more loans would be approved. FICO leans hard on the smallest of infractions, resulting in less credit approvals. Consumers got around that with the Authorized User account tradelines, and made a slight business out of that for a minute. FairIsaac of course, in collusion with the banks, made it so that AU accounts aren't the same benefit to consumers.

I saw a news article that talked about going back to the old ways of lending: where you took a person's character, employment (not just income, but their trade), and presentation into account when considering lending, by actually talking to the person and accepting proposals, with a personal touch. The banks of course don't want to do that, because they don't care what kind of person you are.

Good information - just additional notes and opinions.
Quick reply to this message
 
Old 12-26-2008, 10:22 AM
 
27,629 posts, read 63,160,735 times
Reputation: 17006
Default Objectivity is a GOOD THING!!!

Quote:
Originally Posted by revelated View Post
...

I saw a news article that talked about going back to the old ways of lending: where you took a person's character, employment (not just income, but their trade), and presentation into account when considering lending, by actually talking to the person and accepting proposals, with a personal touch. The banks of course don't want to do that, because they don't care what kind of person you are.

...
I don't want banks to care about "what kind of person" me or any other borrower is -- I want them to CAREFULLY scrutinize the ability to PAY THE LOAN BACK! Fair Issac scores are a wonderful thing, as long the the scores go DOWN for activities that DO increase the borrowers odds of not paying back a loan and the scores go up when the borrower does things that show they are more responsible ALL IS WELL.

Lenders that offered loans to those that were BAD RISKS did NO ONE any favors and I truly doubt that having a little conversation with the potential borrower would have resulted in ANY smarter lending practices. In all likelihood it would ONLY have allowed BETTER LIARS to borrow even larger sums than they did AND dig deeper holes than they did.

Personal touch is a crock! If I want that, I'll get a lap dance! I am quite sure that bankers would be just as warm and genuine as the "professional" at Scores or Heavenly Bodies!

We need better ALGORITHMS that more transparently disclose the JUNK that the rating agents SCREWED UP and allowed the secondary markets to "repackage" loans based on FAULTY criteria.


btw- revelated, I realize that you are merely reporting on the 'news' that some lenders are considering this. Not bashing on you, just stating that this is a TERRIBLE idea.

Also think that VantageScore is not used by lenders for the same thing as FICO for the reason that the Fair Issac exisits -- credit bureaus have different legal standards than a information service. That is a good thing. The "momentum" of a credit report is different than rescoring the way Fair Issac does and smarter models should be able to aggregate data from multiple sources much more reliably than what is happening today.

I find it more than a little ironic that there is no arguement about the gaming industry disclosing LOT of internal details about the "pay out chips" in all the various casino machines but I have NEVER heard lawmakers voice concerns over the 'risk models" that our whole consumer lending system is based upon...
Quick reply to this message
 
Old 12-26-2008, 10:34 AM
 
6,799 posts, read 11,729,815 times
Reputation: 7913
Unless things have changed in the last 6 months
it is totally free to get your report from all 3 agencies
one time per year.

Don't pay the fee..look for another site.
Quick reply to this message
 
Old 12-26-2008, 11:53 AM
 
79 posts, read 258,708 times
Reputation: 24
I have ordered my free credit reports from annualcreditreport.com before and I am going to use it this week.

Is there a way I can get the credit scores free as well?
Quick reply to this message
Please register to post and access all features of our very popular forum. It is free and quick. Over $68,000 in prizes has already been given out to active posters on our forum. Additional giveaways are planned.

Detailed information about all U.S. cities, counties, and zip codes on our site: City-data.com.


 
Please update this thread with any new information or opinions. This open thread is still read by thousands of people, so we encourage all additional points of view.

Quick Reply
Message:
Over $104,000 in prizes was already given out to active posters on our forum and additional giveaways are planned!

Go Back   City-Data Forum > General Forums > Economics > Personal Finance
Similar Threads

All times are GMT -6.

2005-2017, Advameg, Inc.

City-Data.com - Archive 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25, 26, 27, 28, 29, 30, 31, 32 - Top