Q: I just checked my credit score and my TransUnion score is 20 points lower than the others. Is there a specific reason for this?
A: The reason your credit scores are different from each other is because of the different information that the credit bureaus have about you. Each company has its own method of collecting financial information about you, and the information is not always exactly the same as the information that the other bureaus have.
Often, businesses will report to only one or two of the credit bureaus, so an item on one of your credit reports may not be on another one at all. If you have been paying your credit card payments on time and American Express is only reporting this to Experian and Equifax, then your TransUnion score will be lower.
It’s not just the information that they have that can affect your score. Each bureau also has its own weight attached to each item on your credit history. Thankfully, the method of determining your credit score is fairly standardized, but it can differ a little from one bureau to the next. What you shouldn’t see is a 200 point discrepancy from one score to another.
If one of your credit scores is off by a large amount, check your credit report. Make sure that all of the information is accurate. If it isn’t, you need to dispute it. Write to the credit card bureau explaining the faulty information, or dispute it on their website. They will contact the company that reported it to them and try to get it straightened out. If they find out that the information is inaccurate, they are required to remove it.