| August 11, 2009

Mortgage lenders tend to use FICO credit scores

When it comes to credit scores and getting a mortgage loan, consumers may be surprised at what they find.

Recently, Los Angeles Times columnist Liz Pulliam Weston noted that consumers looking for home loans may find their credit score can vary. Pulliam Weston was answering a question from a reader who found that their credit score was not consistent between credit bureaus and their mortgage lender.

The reader, who had paid off $10,000 in debt in the past six months, said they had taken a free offer for a credit score tracking system that said their credit score was around 670. However, their mortgage lender told them their score was 612 and another credit score agency said it was 590.

Pulliam Weston explained the credit score used by the majority of mortgage lenders is the FICO score.

“You have FICO scores from each of the three bureaus, and mortgage lenders typically use the middle of those three scores to determine your rates and terms,” Pulliam Weston wrote.

However, there are other companies that are offering alternative credit score calculation methods. In fact a recently-filed lawsuit from FICO against TransUnion, Experian and VantageScore Solutions deals with the different companies offering credit scores. The lawsuit from FICO claims the defendants are confusing consumers into making them think the scores they offer are FICO scores.

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