Are you preparing to make a large purchase sometime in the near future? A home, line of credit or a vehicle? Many consumers will visit websites such as Credit Karma or Credit.com to get their most recent credit scores. Many credit card companies are now printing your credit score monthly on your billing statement as well. The best part about these sites? It's free, no matter how many times or when you check your credit score. Many consumers, armed with the information from these websites, will shop around trying to find the best deal with their current credit score only to find out that the score they thought they had isn't even close to the actual score. If you think websites like Credit Karma are giving you your most up to date current FICO score, think again. What they are actually showing you is a "FAKO" score. This is just an educated guess of what your score could be. When lenders pull your credit report they are looking at your actual FICO credit score.
- Your FICO score will not be the same. Your score will vary between the 3 credit bureaus. When you are applying for loans, keep in mind that different lenders will look at different FICO scores for decisions and rate analysis.
- Your score gets calculated at different times. Your credit score is not being updated every day. And many creditors don't report to all three credit bureaus.
Just remember, the websites who are offering free credit reports and scores are not providing you with the most up to date scores that your lender will.