Why FICO Scores Vary From Lender to Lender

Written By & Re-Printed with Permission: James Wehmann, FICO, Executive Vice-president Responsible for the Scores Business Unit


Consumers today are being bombarded by offers to get their “credit score” for free. These lead generation websites don’t provide the FICO® Scores used by nearly all lenders – but some “experts” say that doesn’t matter. In fact, some people claim that the VantageScores distributed to consumers through these websites are perfectly good approximations of the FICO® Scores used by lenders.

The argument goes something like this: because multiple versions of the FICO® Score exist and are used by thousands of lenders, no single FICO® Score represents a consumer’s “credit score”. It doesn’t matter whether a consumer receives a FICO® Score or VantageScore, because they all work similarly: if you rank high on one score, you’ll rank high on another score and all these scores move up and down together.

This is simply not true and new research confirms it.

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