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Profile picture for fpmcg

Where do mortgage companies get my credit score? From all 3 bureaus, or just one?

Will mortgage company pull a score from one of the Big 3, or from all and take an average?  Or does FICO spit out yet another score?

According to FreeScore.com (which is NOT free), my credit score is reported differently by the three major credit bureaus, and there is a sizable spread between the numbers -- almost 60 points, and with the highest of the three, I would be considered "excellent" and the others I am only considered "good."  

While a "good" rating will still qualify me for the ca$h out re-fi that I am looking for, the rate and/or points may be better if mortgage companies use only (in my case) Equifax.

Please do not suggest that I wait to apply while I work to polish up my credit.  I just need an answer to the question posed.

Thanks in advance.
  • July 28 2012 - Fort Worth
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Answers (19)

Profile picture for pugfriendly3

I want everyone to really listen up now!

Here is the deal: YOU CAN'T PULL YOUR OWN TRI-MERGE CREDIT REPORT!!!!!

This service is only available to businesses!

NO MATTER WHERE YOU GET YOUR SCORE OR FROM WHAT CREDIT REPORTING AGENCY YOU PAY, IT WILL NEVER BE THE SCORE THE MORTGAGE LENDER SEES!!!

I hope this helps many of you as I have paid so much money to all of the credit reporting bureaus and the "free" websites to have my credit monitored, and to check my credit report and score as often as I wanted in preparation for applying for a mortgage. It didn't matter because in the end, the tri-merged credit report's numbers were TOTALLY different than anything else I had received for PAY and for FREE!

I have wanted to get a class action lawsuit started against these agencies because they really are taking advantage of consumers! They sell you on the idea that "knowledge is power" and "know your credit score so you can get your credit swagger on"!! This type of marketing is clever, because if you are like me and you want to get prepared 12 to 18 months in advance of buying a home, you want to appear confident in knowing what your score is! So imagine my surprise when I go to apply for a mortgage after listing my existing home and thinking I have a 720 and being told I had a 615. It is not only frustrating, it's downright embarrassing considering you have worked so hard to do everything right for the last 12 months!

So there is the truth, FINALLY!! YOU WILL NEVER SEE YOUR TRI-MERGED CREDIT REPORT AND SCORE, UNLESS YOUR LENDER PULLS IT (a hard pull to your credit!) AND SHOWS IT TO YOU! THIS IS HOW I FINALLY SAW MINE!!

  • May 13
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Profile picture for ChrisStone8
Wow. The responses here could be helpful to someone's question I am sure, but not the the one being asked here.

As someone did state previously, the lenders use a "preferred vendor" which could be something like: https://www.krollfactualdata.com/

However, this type of credit check does place a hard inquiry on your report and is not really in place for individuals.

Unfortunately, the scoring models vary significantly as different types of lenders place more value or weight on different factors that they don't really share with the public.

Some use the Vantage score now but much like the FICO scores there are still variances. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/VantageScore and http://your.vantagescore.com/ might shed some light.

Keep in mind I don't know much more than any of you posing these questions. I am just a consumer trying to understand it all too. Hopefully some of the information I have stumbled across will help you in your search.
  • January 04
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Profile picture for BungalowMo

There are MANY kinds of scores!
You can buy them directly from the big 3.....lenders do not use them

You can get them from free sites like Quizzle, Credit Karma, etc....lenders do not use these either!

Even when you buy your scores directly from the myFICO site...those scores are what banks use to approve credit cards.  Those 3 are the closest to the real deal, but can still differ from a "Mortgage Pull" .  Mortgage lenders pull a Tri-Merge report from Equifax, Experian & Trans Union.  These scores are calculated using a different scoring algorythm than credit card scores, like on FICO.  Even though....the tri-merge report gives you 3 FICO scores.  They are Mortgage FICOS.

If you go to an auto dealer & want to get financing, they can pull 1, 2, or all 3 reports.  Those scores are also FICO's, but they are considered "Auto Enhanced" scores, as in for an Auto loan.

Bottom line, if you have clean reports with a few years' history, you should be ok. 

The FICO scoring system is different for each kind of product (credit cards, auto loans & mortgages), but also for each different Credit Reporting Agency. 

On any given day, you will have 9 uniquely different FICO scores in all.

  • January 04
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Profile picture for michelleweber912
My "credit bureau" scores..i.e. The ones that I got when I ordered my credit reports from transunion, equifax and experian were all atleast 50+ points lower than the scores from myfico.com. We just applied for a mortgage and when our lender pulled our scores they were inline with our fico scores give or take a few points...and I mean few or less..within 1-2-3 points.
  • January 03
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Profile picture for gabb72
I had my credit pulled from a mortgage company. My middle score was my equifax score, at 654. But when he pulled it he showed it as a 580. I don't understand the wide difference when that score came right from equifax.com.
  • January 03
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Profile picture for michelleweber912
When you say they pull your credit scores from all 3 agencies, you mean FICO scores correct?? Just like I would view since I pay monthly for credit Monitoring on myfico.com. Not some crap score I get free with my capital one statement each month " powered by transunion". I know this thread is old but every board I go to people throw around the term " credit score". I know there's a big difference between " credit score" and " fico score".
  • November 22 2014
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@ zuser201406...........
There are several credit companies Lenders use to get the reports. Regardless of who the Lender uses to pull credit it will be a Tri-Merge report and the information comes from all 3 Bureaus onto 1 report. You can use myfico.com to get Fico scores, they will be very close or the same as the Lender's scores.
  • October 09 2014
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These answers are so frustrating.  Everyone is saying 
We pull all three" or "we get a tri-merge report", well the question is FROM WHERE DO LENDERS "PULL ALL THREE"?  Do you go to equifax.com, transunion.com, and experian.com and pull each one separately from the actual agency?  Or is there a secret place that consumers have no access to?  How can we as borrowers see the SAME numbers lenders will see when we apply for a mortgage?  Can someone, anyone, answer that?  Thanks in advance.
  • October 09 2014
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Lenders will typically pull all three credit scores and the middle score will be used for credit qualification.  If there is more than one borrower, the lower of the two middle scores is used. There is usually a significant difference in the scores you receive when retrieving your own credit report from the scores your lender will pull.  It is a common occurrence to hear borrowers say that their credit scores were much higher when pulling credit themselves from a free credit report system.  Just want to prepare you for this.  Good luck and please feel free to reach out with any additional questions!

  • February 15 2014
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They pull all 3 credit scores.
  • February 15 2014
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Most mortgage companies will get your credit score from all three credit bureaus but the score that they will go with will be the middle score of the three.

  • November 03 2013
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There are 3 main credit reporting bureaus--Experian, TransUnion, and Equifax.  When you apply for a mortgage, your lender will pull all 3 scores and then use the lowest middle score (if there is more than one borrower).

However, it is important to note there are many different scoring models.  If you are looking for a "real" score, you really need to go right to the source.  The credit score provided to you as a consumer from freecredit.com is not necessarily going to be the same score a mortgage lender will see or a credit card company will see, etc. There are different scoring models based on the type of credit you are applying for.

If you want to apply for a mortgage and want to know what scores they will use, you should apply with a lender who offers a no obligation review to see where you stand.  Worst case they cannot grant the loan, but then you can have a true score and go from there.

  • October 18 2013
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The underwriter will review all captured information however any and all lenders I've run across always focus on the middle score for guidance. Be careful of shopping around with different lenders if you continually have your credit score pulled it overall score will decline and you will be doc.. points. In most case by shopping around you might see an 1/3% difference from one lender to another. I would start with a private lender and stay away from banks. Just my two cents though.
  • October 17 2013
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  • October 04 2013
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All three will be viewed during underwritting however a lender will always use the middle score.
  • July 15 2013
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Profile picture for user6308060
Ok so I'm reading all these responses and none of them are making sense, seems no one wants to give a straight answer like there is a code of secrecy between realtors. 

Here is the question: Where do you get your REAL FICO score from, I as many other's are registered with these Credit Monitoring services i.e.... www.experian.com www.equifax.com www.tranunion.com 

*Note I did not use any 3rd party vendor i.e... www.freecreditscore.com www.freeannualreport.com so on and so forth, I have gone to the actual bureaus themselves and signed up with their credit monitoring services... are these NOT my real score? Are these not the score the lender will look at when I submit my application? Please someone help!! I don't want to submit my paper work thinking that my "FICO" is one thing and then the lender pulls and something completely DIFFERENT.

Thank you in advance.
  • May 17 2013
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We pull all three.

We throw out the highest and lowest numbers and use the middle score for loan program qualifying/pricing
However, ALL THREE are used to underwrite the loan.
  • July 28 2012
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Profile picture for daveskow
fyi...the 3 major credit bureaus are   experian / transunion / equifax ....
  • July 28 2012
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They pull a tri merge credit report through a preferred credit vendor. The scores may vary by a point or two between lenders because there are seperate scoring models each agency uses.

However, you score is not going to be drastically different.

The tro merge is measuring you FICO score which is not to be confused with any other scoring system. I have had everyone tell me that they are a 700 because they saw that score on free creit report.com, then not understand why their fico is a 600.

Remeber if you are pulling your credit score anywhere else read what the score means, not just the number. The vantage score that most free credit report companies spit out for Transunion has a 700 Score as poor, not good as with the FICO model.

Mortgage companies will use all 3 bureaus, then take the middle score of the lowest borrower to base their approval and rates off of.
  • July 28 2012
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