Choosing between a tri merge score or fico score maybe a dilemma your facing when its time to order your credit report on an annual basis for viewing any errors or discrepancies on it. The two are different indeed, and you should become aware of which one you need to get.
Each of the three credit bureaus comes up with a different score to reflect your credit profile. A tri-merge score reports all three scores and the middle score is used. A single score FICO is not as accurate because it may be higher or lower than the tri-merge middle score.
A tri merge credit report will show scores from all 3 credit beraus. If you are applying for a mortgage then the mortgage lender will use your middle score to determine rate and terms of your loan.
A single score credit report is good to give you a general overview of your credit. But keep in mind not all companies report to all three credit beraus so by only obtaining a single score you could be missing some accounts or information that you would see on a tri merge report.
Most of the time a tri-merge score credit report is more highly recommended than a single score credit report. A tri-merge score credit report will give you the most detail about everything that is reporting to your credit and you will also be able to see any discrepancies or differences between the 3 credit bureaus between what is and what is not being reported to your credit.
If you have 1 or more credit scores which are significantly disparate from your other score(s), you can check to see if each credit bureau is reporting all of your updated credit information. Many times, 1 bureau will have updated a previously delinquent account while the other bureaus have not.
Fair Isaac and Company, issuer of FICO scores, will also provide your broker with a list of reasons why your score is not higher based on the snapshot fed into the computerized scoring model. Each of the credit bureaus determine how important those reasons are, so even identical information from each of the credit reporting agencies can result in different scores.
Also keep in mind that Credit inquiries count for 10% of your total credit score. When applying for a new mortgage, every point on your credit report can make a big difference. So, do not start shopping for your mortgage until you are ready to act.
Lenders use a Trimerge credit report to assist in evaluating your credit worthiness. A fico score is just one of three scores available from a Trimerge report. The other two score are usually from Experian and Transuion. Most mortgage lenders will take the middle score of the three for loan qualifying.