3. FICO Versus “FAKO”—Competitors to the Leading Score

I regularly hear from readers who thought they knew what their credit scores were—until they applied for a loan and found their lenders used dramatically different numbers. These readers are often astonished, and outraged, to learn that the credit scores they bought aren’t the ones lenders use. The PLUS credit score that Experian typically sells to consumers, for example, is no longer sold to lenders. Equifax and TransUnion also sell their own, proprietary scores to consumers, and none of the bureaus goes out of its way to tell people the scores they’re buying aren’t the FICO scores most lenders use. These consumer education scores may be 30 points, or more, higher than comparable FICO scores, ...

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