The internet is rife with sites offering free credit scores. Although it may be enticing to get your score for free, it’s important to note that this score is not the same that lenders may see. Although it can be useful to look at these sites for a general view of your credit health, it’s not something you should rely on when making a major financial decision.
Consumers who sign up for these sites will end up getting scores that are extremely varied in range. On the other hand, bankers usually all rely on a version of the FICO score. It would be a shame for someone to be counting on a free online score for a mortgage, only to get turned down for their dream home when they find out their actual credit score being used by the bank is much lower.
That’s why I recommend going to a mortgage banker to find out what your FICO 4 scores are. You can buy your FICO scores at the FICO site and they also have a mortgage FICO score version for sale. It is usually very close to what mortgage bankers use. In addition, it’s important to remember that you can get your credit reports for free from all three bureaus annually but the score sold there is not the FICO score.
When purchasing your FICO scores remember the mortgage bank will take the middle score out of the three scores that represent the three bureaus. Each bureau will have a FICO score associated with the information reported. This score shows the risk level of the borrower. For example: If you had a 680- Experian FICO score, a 620 Equifax FICO score, and a 630 TransUnion FICO score your bank would take the 630 FICO score and that would be used to price the loan.