The Motley Fool Discussion Boards

Previous Page

Personal Finances / Credit Cards and Consumer Debt


Subject:  Re: APR Reduction Date:  10/5/2019  2:45 PM
Author:  aj485 Number:  312688 of 312824

My FICO score is currently 723 but I have not gotten my credit scores from the big 3 in quite awhile. Should I order those scores?

How do you know your credit score is 723 if you haven't gotten credit scores from 'the big 3' (I assume you mean Equifax, Experian and TransUnion?) in quite a while? Did you get your current score from some place else? I wouldn't bother getting scores directly from the credit bureaus if you have to pay for them, or even if you have to sign up for a 'cancellable' credit monitoring.

You should be aware that there is no 'one' credit score, and 'FICO' scores aren't the only ones out there. Every time you apply for credit, the lender pulls a customized credit score based on their model for that specific product - be it a car loan, a credit card, a mortgage, or whatever it is. So you can get widely varying scores, depending on what you are applying for. Also, the credit bureaus have developed 'Vantage' scores, to try to compete with FICO. Vantage scores were originally on a different scoring scale than FICO scores. Probably because of the confusion that caused, they decided to make their scoring scale consistent with FICO scores - 300 to 850.

That said, because there are so many different credit scoring models, you don't have a 'single' credit score. So the scores that you get from one place are just as valid as the scores from any other place. What you do need to be sure of is that they are in a similar range, and if they aren't figure out what the cause may be - are they pulling from different credit bureaus, which have different information? Are they using different scoring models, that give you different reasons for why your score is what it is?

Where do I order those 3 reports together and does that generate a hard pull on my credit?

There's not much point to getting all 3 together, since you will have to pay for that. Depending on where you get it from, it may generate an inquiry. What I would suggest is checking the credit reports at all 3 credit bureaus. You can use to get your credit reports (not scores) for free. Make sure that there aren't any mistakes. If you do find mistakes, go through the process to correct them.

And, is there a way to get them for free?

Lots of places
Experian - (Note: Equifax and TransUnion don't seem to give free scores, just free credit reports)

Many banks and credit unions offer their customers (and sometimes non-customers) for free. Here are a couple of links for non-customers to get their scores from banks:


But be sure to check at your bank(s) and credit union(s), too.

Copyright 1996-2020 trademark and the "Fool" logo is a trademark of The Motley Fool, Inc. Contact Us