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When you look at a credit report online at one of the many “free” websites, do you think you are seeing all the information found in your lender’s credit report? Are the credit reports the same or are they different? If they are different, what information is missing from those free online credit reports?

To let you know, the credit reports found online are vastly different than the ones lenders use. A credit report found online is called a “consumer credit report” while a “lender’s credit report” is one used by lenders.

You need to know the differences. Knowing what is in your lender’s credit report gives you accurate and real time information. The free consumer online credit reports give you a partial glimpse of your lender’s credit report – it does not give you the same information found in your lender’s credit reports.

The more important question is; where can you get access to your lender’s credit report and review it?

It is difficult to find your lender’s credit report unless you know where to look. You generally cannot gain access to your lender’s credit report unless your denied credit or you go to a certified credit counselor. Finding one may be a challenge – until now.

There are several differences between those online credit reports and a lender’s credit report. It depends on the type of lender. There is one main credit report used by all mortgage lenders and most credit card companies and auto lenders. A few credit card companies and auto lenders use a specific type of lender’s credit report tailored to auto lenders and credit card companies.

Let’s look at the differences:

Consumer Credit Reports                                           Lenders Credit Reports

  1. Consumer Credit Scores                                                1. Classic (Lenders) FICO Credit Scores
  2. Single Bureau Credit Report                                          2. 3 Bureau Credit Report
  3. Inquiries                                                                          3. Hard Inquiries
  4. List Social Security Number                                           4.  Matching Social Security Number

Credit Scores

The credit scores offered in a consumer credit report are considered unreliable in the eyes of mortgage, auto and credit card lenders. They are different and are not used by lenders for loan approval. To emphasize this point, in all my experience, I have never seen the consumer credit scores be exact as the lender’s Classic FICO Scores. Never.

Every point can matter in your loan approval or interest rate. A difference between a 659 and a 660, a 679 and 680 credit score, a 699 and 700 credit score, a 719 and 720 credit score, and a 739 and 740 credit score can easily cost you several hundreds more each year on a monthly mortgage payment.

The Classic FICO Scores use different criteria than the consumer credit scores. There are too many differences to highlight in this blog. But the differences are significant. The Classic FICO Scores are used by all mortgage lenders, and most credit card and auto lenders.  You can only access them through a lender, or a nonprofit certified credit counselor such as They range from 300 to 850.

1- or 3-Bureau Credit Report

Most every consumer credit report is a single bureau credit report from either Equifax, Experian or TransUnion. You do not get a credit report based on all three credit reports. It is like only getting 1/3rd of the information.

Wouldn’t you like to get your credit report information from all three bureaus? A tri-merge credit report used by mortgage lenders takes the information from all three credit bureaus – Experian, Equifax, and TransUnion – and is compiled into one credit report. Since the credit information from all three credit bureaus is oftentimes different, you can see your entire credit information from Experian, Equifax and TransUnion in one report.


A consumer report shows the number of inquiries up to the last 24 months. Many of these inquiries are promotional or account review inquiries. So, you cannot tell if they are being used in opening a new account. This makes it difficult to see who is checking your credit report for unauthorized purposes.

Your lender’s credit report only shows those inquiries from lenders. It will show the lender, the date and the credit bureau that provided your credit report. There is more relevant information inquiry given in a lenders credit report.

Social Security Numbers

A consumer report only provides the social security number used to get a copy of your consumer credit report. It lists no additional social security numbers.

A lenders report will report any and all social security numbers tied to your name. This may be helpful in case someone is using your social security number. Quite often, a tri-merge lender’s credit report will show multiple social security numbers. Either a lender has transposed your social security number at some time, or someone could be using your number to gain access to credit.

There are additional items available in a lender’s credit report that can highlight any fraud or misrepresentation. The detail in a lender’s credit report is much greater and broader. For this reason, it is best to review a lender’s credit report and gain access to accurate information. 

My Credit Plan is the only internet consumer-based program that provides lender’s credit reports and scores, and offers personalized solutions to improve your scores.

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