Everybody has seen the commercials for free credit scores. While these scores can be called credit scores, most creditors do not use them during the approval process.
The DOMINANT score, that 90% of all creditors use, is called FICO. Named for the company who developed the scoring model, Fair Isaac and Company.
You see, a little rift developed between FICO and the credit bureaus and the credit bureaus are attempting to replace FICO with another credit scoring mechanism of their own. I believe it is an effort of futility; and what the public is getting out of it is nothing but confusion. There is absolutely no benefit to the consumer.
While these alternative scores can somewhat (?) give you a feel for where your credit score lies compared to other consumers out there, I’ve seen way too many discrepancies between these scores and FICO, in both directions. Sometimes your FICO score is higher and sometimes lower. There is no relevance between these alternative scores and FICO. Therefore, in my view, these scores are not relevant in determining your credit score and do nothing but add confusion to the credit system.
My hat’s off to credit card companies that are now including your FICO credit score on monthly statements. This should help minimize the confusion. If your credit card company does not include your FICO score, the consumer can go to www.myfico.com and sign up for their monitoring service ($29.95 a month). Once you sign up, you can download a FANTASTIC credit report with multiple, industry specific, FICO credit scores. You can then cancel your subscription or continue with their monitoring service.
Bottom line, Free Credit Scores are nothing more than a marketing tool, by the credit bureaus, to trick the consumer into enrolling into one of their credit monitoring services. While, I do agree that everyone should have some sort of monitoring service, the end, is this scenario, does not justify the means. If you are interested in credit monitoring, I can give you a few good choices to pick from.

Author's Bio: 

About the Author - Kim Carpentier is Owner and General Manager of Valley Credit Builders (www.valleybusinesscredit.com). He is using his 35 years of successful business ownership, and transition, to help small business owners build business credit so they can separate the financial responsibilities between business and personal credit. He specializes in helping business owners establish excellent business credit scores and then leverages those scores to access cash and credit for their businesses without their personal guarantees. The Business Credit and Funding Suite is the leading business cash and credit access system in the world today.