What are non-FICO scores?
Some companies sell non-FICO credit scores directly to consumers that use a different scoring model and in many cases they are not the same scores that are sold to lenders.
Experian – That’s right: One of the big three credit reporting agencies. Experian sells FICO credit scores to lenders but also markets and sells a different score to consumers. Their “consumer” score is called the PLUS Score™. Experian sells the PLUS Score on a number of different websites, all marketed under different brands. Be very careful when watching commercials about free credit reports or you may end up buying your PLUS score instead of your FICO scores.
TransUnion – Again, one of the big three credit reporting agencies. TransUnion sells real FICO credit scores to lenders, but then they sell you a score that’s different. TransUnion’s version is called the TransRisk score, which actually is also available for sale to lenders; it just isn’t commonly used. TransUnion markets these scores under their “TrueCredit” brand. If you are a tenacious web surfer, you might find the small text that says it is not a FICO score. TransUnion does sell the legitimate FICO credit score to consumers, but it’s marketed at their TransUnion Consumer Services website, which is next to impossible to find.
Intersections – This company markets credit monitoring services directly to consumers and through its partnerships with other companies. You probably have seen its products branded under your bank’s name (this is known as private labeling). Intersections sell credit reports and non-FICO scores as well. Their score is called the CreditXpert score, built by a company called Neuristics, Inc.
PrivacyGuard – As with Intersections, this company markets credit-monitoring services directly to consumers and through its partnerships with other companies. You certainly have seen their products branded under another name. PrivacyGuard sells credit reports and non-FICO scores as well. It also uses the CreditXpert score.
FICO credit scores range from 300 to 850. Here are the score ranges for the non-FICO scores sold to consumers today:
· PLUS Score – 330-830
· TransRisk Score – 100-900
· Intersections/CreditXpert – 350-850
· PrivacyGuard – 350-850
As you can see, you will want to know what score is being generated so you can gain an understanding of what a lender may be looking at versus what you might be looking at.