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3 Different Credit Bureaus, 3 Different Scores - Discover Why

Despite utilizing the same basic information, your credit scores may vary based on the information contained at each of the three major credit bureaus - Experian, TransUnion, and Equifax. If you have one credit history, how can you have three different credit scores? It depends. Below are some of the common reasons for differing credit scores.

If you have one credit history, how can you have three different credit scores? It depends. Below are some of the common reasons for differing credit scores from each agency.

Available data in credit agency's files

Lenders are not required to report your credit use to the credit bureaus. And, if they do report it, not all lenders will report your information to all three agencies. Because Experian, Equifax and TransUnion are separate companies, their data is not compiled and compared.

Each company can only present the information they have access to.

Clerical or computer errors

A recent Federal Trade Commission (FTC) study on errors in credit reports found that 262 of the 1,001 people who reviewed their credit reports spotted at least one potential "material" mistake. These errors included accounts that were not theirs and late payments that they believe were never late.

Anyone from your lender to the clerks at the credit bureau could incorrectly list information on your credit report. If inaccurate information appears on one credit report only, it could reflect in credit score differences.

Timing of report

Even the difference of a week could affect your credit report. If you request your reports from each company at differing times - or if the bureau has a different timing method for collecting the data for the report - you may see a difference in scores.

Name variations

Applying for credit under different variations of your name (including maiden name or shortened name) could cause inaccurate information on your credit report. One bureau may have all identities correctly on your credit report, but another agency may be missing some of your information or may have someone else's information on your report.

Know what's in each report

Because inconsistencies in your credit reports could impact your 3 bureau credit scores, be sure to regularly check your credit report for inaccuracies.

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