FICO Score vs. TransUnion Credit Score

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Consumers can purchase credit scores from providers that don't use FICO scoring models.
Consumers can purchase credit scores from providers that don't use FICO scoring models. (Image: View Stock/View Stock/Getty Images)

Your FICO score is generally regarded as the most important credit rating for a consumer, as it is the one lenders typically use to evaluate creditworthiness. Your credit score from TransUnion, a company that provides credit data, is a FICO-based score geared to consumers that reflects the credit history TransUnion has on you.

FICO Basics

FICO is a scoring model developed by the Fair Isaac Corp. It incorporates a mix of factors, such as payment history, amounts owed and average length of credit, to evaluate someone's borrowing credibility. Each of the three major reporting bureaus, Equifax, TransUnion and Experian, use a FICO scoring model in computing their credit scores. You may see some scoring variance as each reporting bureau scores a consumer based on reports it has on file.

TransUnion Scoring

Your TransUnion score is the rating computed specifically by the TransUnion reporting bureau. It is feasible that your TransUnion score can be 40 to 50 points or more different from your FICO credit score, according to a February 2014 Forbes article. Many lenders use all three reporting bureau scores in evaluating a loan application, to address scoring discrepancies. The differential between FICO and TransUnion is based on the fact that consumers normally get a separate version of their score than lenders get, reports MyFICO.

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