How credit scores are created

The three main credit bureaus – Equifax, Experian and TransUnion – create your credit reports, which credit scoring models like VantageScore and FICO use to come up with a score that typically ranges from 300-850. The credit bureaus can also calculate scores for you based on their own proprietary models.

Your scores are typically based on things like how often you make payments on time and how many accounts you have in good standing.

Your score will never factor in personal information like your race, gender, religion, marital status or national origin.

Why you could have different scores

With so many ways to calculate credit scores, it’s not uncommon to have multiple different scores at the same time.

You could have different scores if a lender doesn’t report to all three credit bureaus or reports updates to them at different times. Some lenders may only report to one or two bureaus (or none at all).

You could also have different scores depending on the lending situation. For example, an auto lender might use one scoring model, while a mortgage lender uses another.