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Q&A with FICO on credit scores

QuestionHow often do these scores change?

Answer Scores are calculated each time they're requested as opposed to being calculated and stored somewhere and then retrieved. So, if I request my credit score today, the credit bureau I go to will access my credit file, will calculate the score and send it to me. If I go back tomorrow for my score, it will go through the same process and it will calculate it again. Now that score may be the same if nothing changed on my credit report, but it will always go through the same process. So, if you go to a mortgage broker and you get your score today, (and) you then go to another mortgage broker (and) they pull your score, the first one will calculate it at that moment; the second one will calculate it again as if it hadn't been calculated before.

QuestionHow can I see my FICO score?

Answer To get your own score you can go through a site such as myFICO.com where the Equifax and TransUnion FICO scores are available. Equifax also makes the Equifax FICO score available on its Equifax.com website. Also, mortgage applicants receive a score disclosure that shows the scores and the models and the various factors that are impacting the scores. After recent legislation, consumers also are now able to access their scores if they either do not receive the best terms lenders offer or if they are denied credit. Some credit card companies provide their online customers with FICO scores on a monthly basis and that type of thing. There are a lot of credit scores out there that are available through other sources, but for the most part, those are not actual FICO scores -- they are other credit scores developed by other companies.

There is no site you can go to get your score from Experian -- not proactively as a consumer. Experian is not making their scores available to consumers in the same way that Equifax and TransUnion are. If you are a mortgage applicant or (are) turned down for credit and an Experian score was accessed, you will receive that score as part of that process.

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