Here’s the second part of the 2-part primer on everything you wanted to know about credit scores.
What is a FAKO (fake-o) Score?
The word FAKO refers to any credit score that doesn’t use the proprietary FICO scoring method. The 3 credit reporting agencies have created their own (FAKO) scoring methods. In addition to their own scoring methods, they got together and created a shared credit scoring system called VantageScore to compete with FICO.
The main complaint with these scores is not that they aren’t valid, but that they are irrelevant. Very few lenders use these scores; most use the original FICO scores.
That said, it’s still worthwhile to signup for free a FAKO score from each of the credit agencies so you can broadly monitor your credit. While it won’t tell you your FICO scores, it will tell you if your credit is generally in good shape, and alert you to any significant changes. If you see a large change in one or more of the scores, then you should get your once-a-year free credit report to see what has changed.
Here are the different FAKO scores available at each of the 3 credit agencies.
Vantage Score (TransUnion, Experian, and Equifax)
In 2006, to try to win business from FICO, the three major credit-reporting agencies introduced VantageScore. According to court documents filed in the FICO v. VantageScore federal lawsuit the VantageScore market share is less than 6%. The VantageScore score methodology produces a score on a scale of 501 to 990.
Credit Karma – TransUnion’s TransRisk Score and TransUnion’s Vantage Score – It’s their own calculation based on information in your TransUnion credit report. The TransRisk Score is on a scale from 300 to 850.
- Sign up for your TransUnion FAKO score at www.creditkarma.com. This is not your FICO score, and the score is completely free – not a free trial.
Equifax Score Card – ScoreCard is Equifax’s proprietary scoring model and has a scale of 280 to 850.
- Sign up for your Equifax FAKO score at www.equifax.com/creditscorecard. This is not your FICO score, and the score is completely free – not a free trial.
Credit Sesame – Experian’s Scorex PLUS (Experian’s National Equivalency Score) – It’s their own calculation based on information in your Experience credit report. Scorex PLUS is on a scale from 360 to 840.
- Sign up for your Experian FAKO score at www.creditsesame.com. This is not your FICO score, and the score is completely free – not a free trial.
Quizzle – The CE (Community Empower) Credit Score based on your Experian credit report. The CE Score is published by CE Analytics and licensed to Quizzle. The score uses the information in your Experian credit report and runs it through this formula to caluculate your score. The CE Score is on a scale of 350 to 850.
- Sign up for your Experian FAKO score at www.quizzle.com. This is not your FICO score, and the score is completely free – not a free trial.