Credit Score Accuracy | Chase (2024)

Receiving a credit score can be helpful for understanding your financial wellness. There are several sources where you can get your credit score, including credit bureaus and third-party credit websites. With multiple options available, you may be wondering which of these sources is the most accurate. Simply put, there is no “more accurate” score when it comes down to receiving your score from the major credit bureaus.

In this article, you will learn:

  • Different types of credit scores
  • What goes into calculating your credit score
  • How to receive your most accurate credit score
  • Which credit bureau is the most accurate
  • What third-party credit scores are
  • How international credit scores are calculated

What are the different types of credit scores?

There are two main types of models for developing your credit score, the VantageScore® and the FICO® score. Let’s see how these two scores differ and how they are used.


The VantageScore model—specifically Version 3.0 which is the most widely used—considers similar factors to the FICO score model. However, how these factors are treated and weighted differently. For example, your credit utilization ratio accounts for a large part of the amounts owed factor. This factor has a much greater impact when determining your score.

The VantageScore model weighs the following factors when determining a score:

  • Payment history (40%) — how timely your payments are and how often you miss or make your payments.
  • Depth of credit (21%)—how long you’ve owned a credit card and had open accounts.
  • Credit utilization (20%)— also called a credit utilization ratio, it is the sum of how much you owe compared to your total available credit.
  • Balances (11%)—this refers to the sum of your recent balances, both current and delinquent, on your credit card accounts.
  • Recent credit (5%)— new credit card accounts or loans that you’ve opened that you didn’t have previously.
  • Available credit (3%) — accounts that you have available and use currently.

FICO Score

You may have seen the term “FICO score” on a credit report. This scoring model is used by the three major credit bureaus: Equifax®, Experian™and TransUnion®. A FICO score is the original approach to developing a credit score, which was developed in 1989.

This score is calculated using software from the Fair Isaac Corporation (FICO) and uses algorithms that help predict consumer behavior. These algorithms are regularly updated to help account for factors like what’s happening in the current economic market.

The FICO model uses the following factors to calculate a credit score:

  • Payment history (35%)
  • Amounts owed (30%)—this includes how much you’re using your available credit and whether or not you’re overextending.
  • Length of credit history (15%)—how long you’ve owned a credit card and had open accounts.
  • Credit mix (10%)—the different types of credit card accounts you may have.
  • New credit (10%)—new credit card accounts or loans that you’ve opened that you didn’t have previously.

FICO scores are used by over 90% of top lenders and offer a variety of different types of scores. For example, you may receive a FICO Auto Score, which is an adjusted calculation specific to predicting the likelihood of making payments on an auto loan. This score may be used as a tool by your lender when you apply for an auto loan. These different types of scores can be useful for when you go to make large purchases or take out loans.

How to receive the most accurate credit score?

You can receive a credit score in a few ways, one of which is through Chase Credit Journey®. By enrolling, you not only will receive credit scores, but you can also gain access to credit reports and resources to help you understand and build your credit. Credit monitoring services may also be provided to help keep track of your credit.

Additionally, you can get your credit score from the three credit bureaus online or through a third-party source. Keep in mind that these different sources will likely use the FICO scoring model, VantageScore or both to calculate your credit scores.

While FICO score and VantageScore differ in how they weigh the factors discussed above, it’s important to note that one model is not necessarily more accurate than the other. Rather, these scores can be used for different circ*mstances.

For example, a FICO score is generally used when lenders review mortgage or auto loan applications. These loans are often associated with large amounts of money, so it’s particularly helpful for the lender to know that you can make regular, timely payments. Given the FICO score is used in about 90% of lending decisions, it’s possible that your lender may use your FICO score as a helpful tool when applying for these loans to show your eligibility.

The most accurate credit bureaus

The three major credit bureaus, Equifax, Experian and TransUnion, all use scoring models to generate a credit score. While Experian is the largest bureau in the U.S., it’s not necessarily more accurate than the other credit bureaus. The credit scores that you receive from each of these bureaus could be the same, depending on which scoring model they use.

Receiving different credit scores

It’s possible to receive different credit scores from the three main bureaus, but don’t worry. There could be several reasons why this happens, including:

  • The credit bureaus didn’t receive the same information about your credit or payment history.
  • The bureau used a different version of the VantageScore model.
  • The scores were calculated on different dates.
  • Errors appeared on your credit report. If this happens, you may be able to dispute the error with the bureau or your credit card issuer or bank.

For these reasons, minor differences in your credit scores aren’t always cause for concern. However, if one report is showing a significantly different number from another, it’s worth looking into. It’s possible there was an error or fraud. That’s why it’s crucial to monitor your credit so that you can find these issues and try to resolve them early on.

Third-party credit score services

You may have noticed there are other ways to get your score calculated, such as through an app on your phone. These services often use VantageScore or FICO models depending on which third-party credit site you’re using, but are not used nearly as widely. Still, these services or apps could offer you an idea of what your score is.

International credit scores

Keep in mind that these different types of credit scores discussed—VantageScore, FICO score and their different versions—only apply to U.S. residents. You can’t use these scores in other countries. For example, if you have a healthy credit score in the U.S., and you’re looking to buy a home in Canada, you won’t be able to apply for a loan using your U.S. credit score.

Countries outside the U.S. calculate credit scores differently and weigh other factors. The United Kingdom (U.K.) uses the same three major bureaus as the ones in the U.S. However, being a registered voter in the U.K. is a factor considered when calculating the score. In the U.S., this factor is not included and won’t affect your credit score.

In conclusion

Knowing which model calculates your credit score is one great step toward keeping track of your credit score’s health. Another way to maintain a healthy credit score is to monitor it. This includes activities like reviewing your credit card statements and reports or enrolling in a credit monitoring service, such as Chase’s credit monitoring services and alerts.

Credit Score Accuracy | Chase (2024)


How accurate are credit scores? ›

The primary credit scoring models are FICO® and VantageScore®, and both are equally accurate. Although both are accurate, most lenders are looking at your FICO score when you apply for a loan. There's a lot to learn about credit scores and credit reports and having more than one credit score can get confusing.

Which credit score is the most accurate? ›

Simply put, there is no “more accurate” score when it comes down to receiving your score from the major credit bureaus.

Is the Chase FICO score accurate? ›

Keep in mind that you can get updates on your credit score at no cost or impact to your score. A free credit score provided through Chase Credit Journey is accurate and updates regularly.

Is a 900 credit score possible? ›

Highlights: While older models of credit scores used to go as high as 900, you can no longer achieve a 900 credit score. The highest score you can receive today is 850. Anything above 800 is considered an excellent credit score.

Is 700 a good credit score? ›

Achieving a credit score of 700 officially places you in the good credit score category, although it does fall slightly below the average. In April 2021, the average FICO score was listed as 716 following a generally upward trend in average credit scores over the past 10 years.

Is a FICO score of 8 good? ›

A FICO score of at least 700 is considered a good score. There are also industry-specific versions of credit scores that businesses use. For example, the FICO Bankcard Score 8 is the most widely used score when you apply for a new credit card or a credit-limit increase.

What is a good credit score to buy a house? ›

It's recommended you have a credit score of 620 or higher when you apply for a conventional loan. If your score is below 620, lenders either won't be able to approve your loan or may be required to offer you a higher interest rate, which can result in higher monthly mortgage payments.

Why is my FICO score 100 points lower than Credit Karma? ›

Your FICO Score is a credit score. But if your FICO score is different from another of your credit scores, it may be that the score you're viewing was calculated using one of the other scoring models that exist.

Is FICO or TransUnion more accurate? ›

One credit bureau isn't more accurate than another, rather, they may simply have different methods of calculating your credit score. It's important to note that all three bureaus are used widely in the U.S. None of them are more “important” than the others.

Why is there a 100 point difference in my credit score? ›

Because there are varied scoring models, you'll likely have different scores from different providers. Lenders use many different types of credit scores to make lending decisions. The score you see when you check it may not be the same as the one used by your lender.

What FICO score do most banks use? ›

While most lenders use the FICO Score 8, mortgage lenders use the following scores:
  • Experian: FICO Score 2, or Fair Isaac Risk Model v2.
  • Equifax: FICO Score 5, or Equifax Beacon 5.
  • TransUnion: FICO Score 4, or TransUnion FICO Risk Score 04.

How do I check my real credit score? ›

Learn about your credit report and how to get a copy
  1. Online by visiting
  2. By calling 1-877-322-8228 (TTY: 1-800-821-7232)
  3. By filling out the Annual Credit Report request form and mailing it to: Annual Credit Report Request Service. PO Box 105281. Atlanta, GA 30348-5281.
Mar 26, 2024

How rare is an 800 credit score? ›

How rare is an 800 credit score? An 800 credit score is not as rare as most people think, considering that roughly 23% of adults have a credit score in the 800-850 range, according to data from FICO. A score in this range allows consumers to access the best credit card offers and loans with the most favorable terms.

Has anyone gotten an 850 credit score? ›

Although a lot of people might like the idea of a perfect credit score, they'd likely have a hard time actually achieving it. In the U.S., only about 1.7 percent of the scorable population had a perfect 850 FICO credit score in April 2023, according to FICO data.

How rare is an 830 credit score? ›

Your score falls in the range of scores, from 800 to 850, that is considered Exceptional. Your FICO® Score and is well above the average credit score. Consumers with scores in this range may expect easy approvals when applying for new credit. 21% of all consumers have FICO® Scores in the Exceptional range.

How far off is Credit Karma? ›

They may differ by 20 to 25 points, and in some cases even more. When Credit Karma users see their credit score details, they are viewing a VantageScore, not the FICO score that the majority of lenders use. A VantageScore has the same credit score range as FICO, and uses some of the same information as a FICO score.

How close is the FICO score to the credit score? ›

Is "credit score" the same as "FICO® score"? Basically, "credit score" and "FICO® score" are all referring to the same thing. A FICO® score is a type of credit scoring model. While different reporting agencies may weigh factors slightly differently, they are all essentially measuring the same thing.

Is FICO or Credit Karma more accurate? ›

Although VantageScore's system is accurate, it's not the industry standard. Credit Karma works fine for the average consumer, but the companies that will approve or deny your application are more likely to look at your FICO score.

Is it true every time you check your credit score it goes down? ›

Checking your credit score on your own, which is a soft credit check or inquiry, doesn't hurt your credit score. But when a creditor or lender runs a credit check, that's often a hard credit check, which could affect your credit score.

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