Many realtors and brokers tell their clients to get their “Free” credit scores at Credit Karma to know their credit qualifications. The problem is, what is provided them from the Credit Karma Credit scores is never reliable.
Credit Karma provides a credit score created from the three major credit bureaus; Experian, Equifax and TransUnion. It is called the Vantage 3 score.
Lenders utilize the Classic FICO® Credit Score created by FICO. There is a difference between VantageScores and the Classic FICO Scores.
Here’s a look.
1st Question: Does Vantage Scores look at lender types such as banks and finance companies?
Answer: No. FICO Scores do look at types of lenders. It is upwards of 10% in a FICO Score.
2nd Question: Does FICO Scores follow the 30% utilization rule for credit card utilization?
Answer: No, Vantage scores do. Anything under 30% utilization gets the same credit score points. Stay at 30%, and your FICO Scores will drop.
3rd Question: Does Vantage Scores have the four levels of delinquency?
Answer: No. FICO Scores have four distinct levels of delinquency. A 60 day late payment drops a FICO Score more than a 30 day late payment. Vantage Score follows no such rule.
4th Question: Does the Classic FICO Score have a 45 day window to check different lenders?
Answer: No. Classic FICO Scores have a 14 day window to check different lenders for the best rate / terms.
As we can see, there are differences between the Vantage Scores and the lender's Classic FICO Scores that provide different results. There are more than four - there are dozens of differences. Even more deceiving, Vantage Scores can go up while your Classic FICO Scores could decline. Happens a lot.
For this reason, it is best NOT to follow Vantage Score on the Credit Karma website to gauge your credit worthiness.
Only follow the lender's Classic FICO Scores as found at My Credit Plan.