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5 lessons from free credit score notices

There's more than one credit score
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There's more than one credit score

Surprise! There's not just one credit score. Although the most widely used score is the FICO score, another credit score could show up on your disclosure and the lender doesn't need to identify the brand.

"I think you'll have a slice of lenders who will proactively tell the consumer what brand the score is," says John Ulzheimer, president of consumer education at SmartCredit.com.

For everyone else, there are ways to decipher the score's origin. If the range is between 300 and 850, it's a FICO score. Still, it could be a specific FICO score, such as one designed for credit card issuers, and not the one available on myFICO.com. If the range is 501 to 990, it's a VantageScore, which was developed by the three credit reporting agencies, Equifax, Experian and TransUnion. If the range is anything else, it's an obscure model not used by many lenders, says Ulzheimer.

"(Try to) call the lender and find out what score it is," Ulzheimer says. "I think that's a reasonable request."


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