Here’s what you should know about your credit score

Better Call Harry: What you need to know about your credit score
Published: Apr. 14, 2023 at 10:28 AM EDT|Updated: Apr. 17, 2023 at 11:13 AM EDT
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ATLANTA, Ga. (Atlanta News First) - Have you checked your credit card interest rate lately? Once upon a time, you could open an account with rates in the single digits, but 25 percent or higher is the norm these days.

On the other hand, personal loans offer lower rates, a fixed payment amount, and a schedule.

Bankrate is an excellent resource for comparing loan rates, but the rate you receive depends on your credit history and score. Most consumers believe they have one score. But the reality is you have several, and banks get to choose which one they’ll use to determine your interest rate.

Experian does an excellent job explaining the two different score models lenders use. FICO, which started three decades ago, is the most common score lenders use until the three credit bureaus - Experian, Atlanta-based Equifax, and TransUnion - created a second scoring model called Vantage Score.

The Experian article details the differences between the two models, but both calculate your scores based on information from your credit report. FICO has more than one score, depending on the type of loan for which you apply.

Credit Karma is an excellent resource to get an idea of your score’s range, but it provides a Vantage Score from two of the three credit reporting agencies.

So which score is your lender pulling for your loan application? All you need to do is ask, but before you do that, take 20 minutes to pull copies of your credit reports and scores directly from Experian, Equifax, and TransUnion. You get all three reports for free at

Credit Karma provides your TransUnion score for free. Experian and Equifax give free access to their scores, but TransUnion charges 99 cents.


Research by disputing any credit report discrepancies and pulling your every score.

It’s worth asking a lender before applying which model they use and from which credit bureau they pull it.


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