As disappointing as it may be to find that your score is lower in the report being used by your landlord or management company than that you pulled online, the fact is that there is no error. The difference between the two credit scores may be due to one of the following factors:
- There were changes in your purchasing or payment habits and a creditor reported something negative in the time between you running the two reports.
- The reports come from two different credit bureaus. Creditors don’t always report to all three bureaus and when they do, they don’t always report with the same frequency, which causes a difference between the credit scores coming from each bureau.
- You are checking your VantageScore while your landlord or property manager is checking FICO. FICO scores are the most widely used credit scores in lending decisions like consumer loans or lines of credit, while VantageScore is most often used by credit card companies managing existing accounts. Verify Tenant credit reports use FICO scores.
While both VantageScore and FICO use similar data to compute your score - payment history, balance and debt, credit behavior - the algorithms used to arrive at your credit score are different, thus generating variations in the scores they each provide.
The main advantage of VantageScores is that they are free, allowing consumers to track their credit history often.
It’s a good thing to keep an eye on your credit, no matter which source you use, but when applying for loans or residency, save yourself the disappointment and find out which source the decision maker will be using.