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Your Credit Score: How to Improve the 3-Digit Number That Shapes Your Financial Future, Fifth Edition by Liz Weston

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3. VantageScore—A FICO Rival Emerges

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. Consumer advocates complained that the “consumer education scores” sold by credit bureaus and other sources could be 30 points, or more, higher than comparable FICO scores.

This situation led some to label these alternative scores as “FAKO” scores, with the clear implication that the sellers are trying to deceive people with fake merchandise. That might not be quite fair, but the bureaus’ repeated insistence that “a ...

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