questionsare you aware that you have at least 49 fico…

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Of course I knew there was a lot of scores.

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I'm not sure I believe that article.

I've seen credit bureau reports because of the industry I'm in. I also have the paid version of my report that includes the scores from all 3 credit bureaus. There isn't as many as they say from what I have seen in the real world.

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Trying to keep all this stuff up to date and correct is becoming a full time job. So many credit scores, and so many ways they come up with to screw you in the end.

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It's still the best way for those issuing credit to gauge risk without sitting down and talking to you in person and going through an extensive interview process and background check which would be cost-prohibitive to most businesses.

The FICO scores you're talking about aren't so much different as they have different areas of focus. Of course a bank offering you an autoloan will be more interested in areas of your credit history that may not be of as much interest to a mortgage banker or revolving credit card issuer.

If a stranger was asking YOU for credit, wouldn't you want to know their past history of using credit wisely and making payments on time, and whether they were already heavily in debt?

Sure, it's often not fair how we are judged, and they are making money off selling our information, but it's the best system we've come up with so far, and it seems to work reasonably well for most people. I just wish they'd stop using credit scores to factor insurance premiums.

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It's all just different ways of splicing out the same data. IMO, your credit report is much more important than your numerical score - keep the report in good shape, the score will follow.

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Yes, there are that many but many of them are version of another like Pinnacle is the next gen of Beacon, etc. And they're generally the same score based off a given FICO scoring model. What you're seeing is the same product but with different marketing names.

That said, the scores are based off of the given data that they have, i.e. TransUnion's score is based off of the info they have for you and Equifax's Beacon/Pinnacle score is off the info they have for you. In a perfect world, all three should have the same info and since all their models are basically the same, the credit scores from each agency shouldn't differ greatly.

FICO does produce different scoring models for different types of loans, different industries, and will also customize models for their clients.

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@kamikazeken: I think credit scores is a better representation of your probably to make an insurance claim than is my gender or my age.

I was in the high risk group of being a male so I paid more in my premiums. I've never made a claim so was that fair to me?

If you have bad credit, you may not have enough income to pay all your bills. So, if you have a minor claim, you might want your insurance company to pay for that instead of you just paying it out of pocket like someone that has extra funds might do.

It has also been proven that people with bad credit may be willing to sell secrets so those people cannot get security clearances either.

So, if you were the owner of an insurance company and someone you didn't know wanted to buy insurance from you, what do you suggest should be the criteria to determine if they get the insurance and at what rate?

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I'm always amused by the differences in the ways lenders look at credit history. For instance, if you have five credit cards with an aggregate credit line of $60,000 and a total balance of $1,500, a lender considering your request for a car loan tends to think, "She manages her credit very well -- quite a bit available, only a small percentage of it being used, and always pays as agreed."

A mortgage lender, on the other hand, will often think, "OMG! What if I write this loan today and she goes crazy tomorrow and maxes out all those cards!"

There's a limit to how much time and effort anyone should invest in worrying about credit scores, and articles such as the one cited above have a tendency to blow the entire concept way out of proportion.

As much as possible, try to have a history that includes a credit card or two, an unsecured/signature/personal loan, and a vehicle loan. Lenders like to see a range of loan types. Even if it means you have to eat PB&J sandwiches for a month, NEVER

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[cont'd] make a late payment (30 days or more) on a loan. Try to keep average outstanding balances on credit cards at or below 30% (some lenders use 50% as a marker), and pull your credit reports once or twice a year for review.

I've never seen any real need for paying for a "credit monitoring service" that sends you monthly reports unless you've had a serious loss of personal data.

I find the info from Experian about how credit scores are calculated and how they might be negatively impacted to be helpful:

Payment History (30%)
Amount of Credit Used (20%)
Amount of Cash flow (15%)
Types of Credit (10%)
Credit Balances (10%)
Amount of Available Credit (5%)
New Credit Lines Opened (5%)
Length of Credit History (5%)

-5 points Applying for new credit could cost 3-5 points

-80 points One 30-day late hurts your payment history by a 60-80 point drop in your score.

-30 points Maxing out your utilization on just one card could result in a loss of 10-30 points.

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@magic cave: There's a difference between a huge car loaner and a mortgage loaner. Repossessing a car loan is pretty easy as well as recouping the loss through subsequent sales. Writing off a car loan isn't that big a deal. Foreclosing on a house takes a lot more work in both man power and legal activities. The time line from default to repo/foreclosure to resale is much shorter for a car than it is for a house. And home loans defaulting has greater risks as it affects the bank but also the mortgage backed security it's tied to.

That's why mortgage lenders apply more scrutiny than car loans.

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@first2summit: My scores for the three biggest credit bureaus ranged between 790 and 827 as of August 22. That's as "more or less the same" as I'm interested in!

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@first2summit: Yes, I'm aware of all that. I just find it amusing (and confusing, from a consumer standpoint), since I frequently have to explain the difference in reasoning to our credit union members.

And for credit unions, even very large ones, writing off a car loan is not as blythe an occurrence as you seem to be implying.

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@magic cave: A variance between 790 and 827 probably isn't going to move change anyone's decisioning at all either in terms of a yes/no or in interest rates materially.

I'm not saying it's blithe in absolute terms but it is in comparison to home loan, since that's the comparison you were making in your first post.

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@first2summit: When the housing market was strong, mortgage companies were more willing to overlook bad credit history because if they gave you a $200,000 loan, a couple years later had to repossess the house, they ended up with a $300,000 asset. Now, the houses are depreciating and the banks have to be very careful.

I'm one of those where a specific house is worth less than what I owe on it. What would happen if I stopped paying and just told the bank to take the house from me. I'd be better off but the bank wouldn't be. It would damage my credit rating too.

If I buy a car, I can be assured that it will depreciate the second I take it off the lot. The potential loss is less because the dollar amounts involved are less. So I can get a 30 year home loan with 0 points for 4% but a car loan from the same credit union is variable from 1.75% for 24 months to 4.5% for 84 months.

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@cengland0: True but that's based on the assumption that banks want the house and that's not true at all. They're in the business of lending homes, not selling them. They don't have the operations or desire for it. Specifically, they're in the business of collecting the fees for lending money, the servicing, and packaging the mortgages off into a FNMA or FHLMC bond.

What happened in the last housing boom is an abberation due to holding interest rates low for too long and lack of regulation and oversight.

Truth is, they don't want anyone defaulting on the loans but between the two, the car loan is a lot better for them because it's a much smaller amount and less of a hassle to repo.

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I'm going to take a pain reliever and lay down. My brain is ping-ponging.