Let’s be honest: when it comes to your credit score, there are only two numbers that matter: the three digit score itself and how much you have to fork over to access it.
Simply put, the type of credit score you get doesn’t matter (e.g. Vantage or FICO), or where it comes from, so long as you’re provided with maximum access as at a minimal cost and the source is reputable. If you’re skeptical about this view, let’s take a look at four reasons why paying for a specific type of score is foolhardy.
It’s like looking for a rattlesnake with fur. According to Experian, there are currently more than 1,000 different forms of credit scores, and each source is going to provide a different result – depending on which of the three primary credit bureaus is providing the underlying info. It’s going to be nearly impossible to pinpoint the exact credit score type that a lender will utilize to appraise your application.
What makes matters even more complicated is the fact that there is no method of determining whether a specific lender will run the numbers based off of more than one credit bureau’s data. Even if you were to be able to ascertain this information, you won’t be able to find out if they toss out extremes, rely on averages, or the other methods they use to process the information.
You cannot access lenders’ scores. Even if you were to find the elusive rattlesnake with a fur coat, what can you do regarding the fact that the most savvy lenders alter publicly available scores with their own data that is gathered in house? This manipulation of the numbers results in proprietary scores that a consumer cannot access. There isn’t much to be done about it.
Credit scores have a high level of correlation. The primary reason why most consumers regularly check their credit scores is to determine if they would qualify for a specific line of credit or a particular loan. However, this basic line of reasoning is faulty.
Even though you might be able to pinpoint the specific credit score that a particular lender uses, it won’t provide you with more of an advantage of other highly popular scores that are both cheaper to get and easier to access. Per the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, there is a 90% intrinsic correlation rate between credit scores that are commonly available. In simpler terms, the majority of credit scores are so similar to one another that searching for a specific type would be a waste of your resources and time.
Lenders take more than your credit score into account. Your credit score is not the sole piece of data that a lender will look at when deciding whether or not to extend a line of credit to you. Your credit score is not an accurate representation of all of your sources of income or of all of the financial obligations. It is only one piece of the puzzle.
It is worth noting that, according to the National Foundation for Credit Counseling, 44% of American adults have not checked their credit score in the last twelve months (or longer). If you fall into this category, does it place in you a position to be all that selective? If you want your credit score to flourish, then it will require regular attention and care. Regardless of where you get it, start paying attention to your credit score. Before long, you’ll begin to see the results pay off.