So, for the past six months, I decided I wanted to improve my credit score, which was...well, really bad. I paid for Equifax to monitor my score, and have watched it improve from 570 to 670 during that time.
Good, I thought. Now I can start looking for a house...because I also discovered that I would qualify for an FHA loan even though I pay for Josie's house, and given my salary, I could find a pretty nice place.
However, when I checked with a mortgage guy to see if I pre-qualified, they ran my score and what they show from Equifax was much, much lower. 578. They ran it as well from the other two agencies, and while they were slightly lower than the "all three agency" check I had requested from Equifax, the Equifax score that was significantly lower.
When I called Equifax about this and finally spoke to someone who spoke English in a manner I could understand, I learned that what I am getting from Equifax is my Risk score, and that the lender may have been looking at my FICO score, which Equifax used to provide but no longer do, as they have their own personal model that they now use. But how can I find out what my Fico score is? I asked...oh, you have to go to myfico.com and pay an additional $20. But why did the lender specifically say what my Equifax score was? Oh, it's still a different model, they said. So how can I know which lenders look at the risk score and which look at the FICO score? Oh, you should ask in advance. And by the way, there are a ton other scores out there.
Sigh. This whole thing hurts my head. Does anyone out there have an easier explanation?