Borrowers have 49 different credit scores, not just one

Published: Wednesday, Aug. 29 2012 9:45 a.m. MDT

Tylor Walters of Seattle, Wash., opens his wallet to show he does not believe in using credit cards.

Ken Lambert, Seattle Times

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If you think your credit score is based on one key number, then guess again.

Actually, lenders have 49 separate FICO scores to look at when considering someone for a loan, according to a recent infographic from Credit Sesame, a credit advisory website.

Lenders use FICO’s software to receive credit reports, but the software has been updated a number of times and many agencies haven’t updated. Over time, this has added to the total number of scores per borrower.

The number of scores isn’t bad, but “it allows you to focus on your overall credit health rather than obsess over one particular score,” said John Ulzheimer, president of consumer education at smartcredit.com, in the inforgraphic.

FICO scores measures the risk of an individual borrower, which it sells to Equifax, Experian and TransUnion, the three national credit-reporting bureaus.

The scores are broken down into six different “flavors,” including scores on mortgage, bank cards and installment loans, according to the graphic.

Poor scores can affect an individual’s loans, insurance premiums and employment.

“All of these score might seem intimidating, but they don’t need to be,” Ulzheimer said in the post. “Monitoring your overall credit health will strengthen your personal finances much more than micro-monitoring every number."

EMAIL: jferguson@desnews.com, TWITTER: @joeyferguson

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