It seems every day there is a new credit score that we should all know about it. But after a while, it all gets pretty overwhelming.
Which ones matter most? And why? Should I pay attention to this one or that one? When will each be used? HELP!
Okay, that may have been dramatic, but you catch my drift. We are constantly bombarded with the importance of credit scores, but often they are shrouded in secrecy and overly complicated.
Most people “in the know” realize that FICO scores are the most important credit scores to keep an eye on, namely because they are the most frequently relied upon by lenders.
[Credit scores vs. FICO scores]
But what about the other credit scoring models? Do they come into play as well? And when?
Beacon Score = Equifax FICO Score
You may have heard of the “Beacon credit score” and wondered what it was all about.
Well, the Beacon credit score is actually a FICO score. Say what? Yeah, I know it sounds confusing, but Beacon is simply the name Equifax gives to its FICO-based credit score.
The Beacon score was introduced back in 1989 (it’s fairly new) and is essentially a credit score that uses credit data collected by Equifax, which is then applied to the FICO scoring model.
This means it relies on the same credit score scale as other FICO scores, which is 300-850.
For the record, Experian calls their FICO score the “FICO Risk Model,” and TransUnion calls their FICO score the “FICO Risk Score, Classic.” Collectively, these are known as the big 3 credit scores.
So basically each credit reporting agency has their own name for their FICO-based credit score, which uses their own collected data and FICO’s algorithm.
This explains why there is some disparity between credit scores, even if they are all FICO-branded credit scores.
Equifax Has Their Own Credit Score Too
To further complicate things, Equifax also has their own proprietary credit score called the “Equifax credit score,” not to mention it plays a part in the collaborative VantageScore as well.
In other words, these credit bureaus have all types of different products and affiliations, which makes it really difficult to keep track of them all.
The good news is that you don’t really need to worry too much about it. Most of these credit scoring models are all pretty darn similar.
Sure, the credit score scale may be a tad different, and their algorithms slightly unique, but at the end of the day, the same stuff matters.
Paying bills on time, avoiding high balances, and applying for new credit only when needed.
Read more: What credit score is used the most?