You don’t know your mortgage credit score.
Well, it may not be a lie, but it’s can be misleading when it comes to what matters. There’s plenty of mystery surrounding credit scores, with plenty of conflicting information on what impacts them, what matters the most, and the fastest way to improve them. I work with a lot of people who thought they knew their credit scores, but found out they had no idea what their mortgage credit score was!
I hate to do it, but I’m about to add to that confusion. Get this – There are very few ways to access the credit score that matters the most. As much consumer advocacy as exists in society, you wouldn’t think that would be the case. However, for whatever reason, it’s something that is rarely discussed.
Here’s the deal… Everyone can agree that the most important purchase that most people make is their home. So as you get ready to buy a home, that’s the most important time to know your credit score, right?
Everyone knows they have (or should have) three scores. One from each bureau – Equifax, TransUnion, and Experian. What is rarely discussed though, is that not only can the score be different from bureau to bureau, BUT they can also be different depending on who pulls it.
See, each bureau has several different credit score models. We talk a lot about consumer advocacy, but when it comes to credit scores, consumers still get left in the dark quite a bit. This is because for credit bureaus, the consumer is not the customer. Credit card companies, auto lenders, and mortgage lenders are their customers. Sure a consumer might pay a few bucks here and there to pull their score, or enroll in an on-going program. The industries that utilize credit reports as part of their daily business are the real clients though. Since these industries spend millions of dollars every year on reports, they get to make the rules on what they believe are the most important factors for credit scores.
So what that gets you is one set of scores when you apply for an auto loan, another set when you apply for credit cards, and another set when you apply for a mortgage. To complicate things even further, sometimes there are variations in models within each industry.
For mortgage lending though, the models are standard. Experian Fico 2, Equifax Fico 5, and TransUnion Fico 4. (for more info visit http://www.myfico.com/crediteducation/fico-score-versions.aspx)
So if your’re preparing to buy a home, you can run out to Credit Karma and pull these, right? Or go to Free Annual Credit Report, right? Wrong. Credit Karma uses something called VantageScore 3, which can be completely different from your mortgage scores.
While the various consumer sites where you can go to get your scores serve as a good base line, it is possible for those numbers to be dramatically different from the ones that really matter. The only place to get the score that counts for mortgage purposes, is from a mortgage lender. I provide clients and agents resources to access real credit scores, anytime they want.
With my Mortgage PreFlight credit report, potential home buyers can access the credit scores that count, and get their full report, 24 hours a day. Get the numbers that matter without being forced to sign up for monthly credit score programs that don’t even give you real information!
Just go to JonesGroup SWF Mortgage PreFlight and find your real mortgage credit score.