Free FICO vs. non-FICO Credit Score Comparison

Updated with new scores. There are many free credit scores are available nowadays, but how do they compare in real life? There are three major credit bureaus – TransUnion, Equifax, and Experian – which all may have slightly different information about you in their database. Here I keep track of all of my available “free” scores (some require specific credit card or other membership) while noting the bureau data used.

  • Discover FICO (TransUnion) – FICO score available free to Discover card holders. Based on the FICO 08 scoring model. Updates monthly. I get mine from the Discover it® card that features 5% cash back in rotating categories and no annual fee.
  • Barclaycard FICO (TransUnion) – FICO score available free to Barclaycard holders. Based on the FICO 08 scoring model. Updates sporadically, usually every 1-2 months. I get mine from the Barclaycard Arrival Plus(TM) World Elite MasterCard that offers great travel rewards.
  • Credit Karma (TransUnion) – Educational credit score available free to members of CreditKarma.com. Based on the TransUnion New Account scoring model. Updates as often as once a week if you log in that frequently.
  • Capital One (TransUnion)- Educational credit score available free to Capital One card holders. Based on the TransUnion New Account scoring model, it updates monthly. I get mine from the Capital One Quicksilver Cash Rewards card, which offers a flat 1.5% back on all purchases, $100 sign-up bonus when making $500 in purchases during the first three months, and no annual fee.
  • Credit Sesame (Experian) – Educational credit score available free to members of CreditSesame.com. Based on the Experian National Equivalency scoring model. Updated up to once a month if you log in.
  • Quizzle (Equifax) – Credit score available free to members of Quizzle.com. Based on the VantageScore 3.0 scoring model. Updated up to twice a year if you log in.

Based on the data points I have collected so far, it does support that the two FICO scores provided by the Discover and Barclaycard are the same (both are part of the FICO Score Access program and use FICO 08 formula) and the Credit Karma and Capital One scores are also the same (both use TransUnion New Account formula).

As for FICO vs. non-FICO, even though they may be based on the same TransUnion credit report and are in the rough approximate range, the scores given can differ by up to 30-50 points. In this individual case, the other non-FICO scores from Experian and Equifax are actually consistently closer to the reported TransUnion FICO scores.

Comments

  1. Nick R. says:

    I noticed the same thing. Credit Karma shows 783, Discover shows 795. I have been tracking my credit score for years using Credit Karma. Did it for the first time today through Discover.

  2. I’ve got both Discover and Barclay cards with the FICO. My Discover updates on the 3rd and the Barclay updates around the 12-13th. I recorded the numbers from January to April and they were within 1 point of one another, which I assume is just small fluctuation based on dates of reporting.

  3. I see a difference of about 40-50 points positive going from the fake-o to the real FICO. So fake-o will be like 780 and the real thing is 830+. Saw this on multiple sites.

  4. My Barclay and Discover FICO score differ a bit. After a hard credit pull for a new CC, my Discover FICO score dropped from 805 to 799; the FICO provided from Barclays went from 791 to 805.

  5. Quizzle says it only updates once every six months for free, I even logged in and it won’t update before six months are up. Are you on a paid monthly plan?

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