Any consumer trying to make sense of the credit reporting process is in for some serious confusion, especially when figuring out exactly which credit scores carry the most weight, and which score they should focus their attention on when developing a credit repair plan. Most lending institutions utilize the FICO (Fair Isaac Corp.) scoring system when evaluating consumer credit. But even this is not the bottom line in the complex maze of credit ratings, and its influence on the consumer’s options when it comes to bad credit repair tactics.
FICO versus the Credit Bureau Scores
As mentioned, all lenders utilize the genuine FICO scores when evaluating a consumer’s credit risk, and buy these scores from the three credit reporting bureaus. Close examination of a lender’s file will reveal each of the reports will be re-tagged with a different designation: Equifax is a BEACON score; TransUnion is an EMPIRICA score; and Experian is a EXPERIAN/FIRM. It is also common knowledge that while the lenders can buy these FICO scores from the credit bureaus, they are not, however, available to the ordinary consumer for purchase, whose own personal and private information is contained within these same reports. To create more obstacles to the credit repair process, each of the three credit agencies have formulated their own scoring models that are drastically different in their makeup than the FICO scores. When a consumer accesses a bureau score and uses that information to apply for a loan, they are often confronted with a lender-provided FICO score that is completely beyond their previous assumptions.
The Mortgage Lender Option
From this point, in order for a consumer to stay on track with an accurate picture of their credit repair progress, and getting a true reading on their ‘actual’ credit standing, is to utilize one more option. Since all lenders, particularly mortgage lenders, have access to all three FICO scores, then the consumer can go out and pre-qualify for a mortgage loan, and then request a copy of the actual FICO scores included in their credit report from the lender.