Personal Finance

Equifax VS. Transunion

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  • Sep 18th, 2013 6:22 pm
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[OP]
Newbie
Dec 2, 2011
9 posts

Equifax VS. Transunion

Hey guys, I just recently checked my credit file and score with Equifax and Transunion since I will be going through the process of getting a mortgage with my fiancée.

I checked on Equifax and was shocked to see I was at 783. Didn't expect it to be so high. Then I went over to Transunion and was also shocked to see it at 707.

Why is there such a huge difference between both of them? Funny I was reading and Equifax says my score is excellent and wouldn't have any issues getting credit, the Transunion one says that my score is Fair and that there is improvement to be done on my file.

Now this will sound like a stupid question but to be safe, should I shop a mortgage with a financial institution that pulls from Equifax over Transunion? Should I even worry about my low Transunion score?

Thanks for the heads up guys!!
13 replies
Deal Expert
User avatar
Dec 11, 2005
19733 posts
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Any score over 700 (heck, even 650) is fine. It won't make a lick of difference if you have a 750 or a 700 getting a mortgage. The amount you are trying to get a mortgage for will have a lot more bearing on your ability to negotiate.
To be nobody but yourself - in a world which is doing its best, night and day, to make you everybody else - means to fight the hardest battle which any human being can fight; and never stop fighting. -- E. E. Cummings
[OP]
Newbie
Dec 2, 2011
9 posts
Thanks for re-assuring me.

What I don't get is that if Equifax and Transunion are both credit reporting agencies and their main purpose is to give info on credit history and scores, why are they so different one another?? They are showing lenders the snapshot of my credit history. Shouldn't it be the same??
Deal Expert
Mar 25, 2005
22197 posts
3027 upvotes
matteocaputo wrote: Thanks for re-assuring me.

What I don't get is that if Equifax and Transunion are both credit reporting agencies and their main purpose is to give info on credit history and scores, why are they so different one another?? They are showing lenders the snapshot of my credit history. Shouldn't it be the same??
Different creditors, different timelines, different algorithms.
Deal Fanatic
Apr 16, 2007
8127 posts
3459 upvotes
Financial District B…
matteocaputo wrote: Thanks for re-assuring me.

What I don't get is that if Equifax and Transunion are both credit reporting agencies and their main purpose is to give info on credit history and scores, why are they so different one another?? They are showing lenders the snapshot of my credit history. Shouldn't it be the same??
Examine both bureaus data fields. If all reported tradelines are exact including dates, inquiries, personal data including current and prior data, then the score differences should be within 7-10% or less.
Both bureaus will never be exactly the same because each credit bureau's algorithms and metrics are calculated and treated differently. That's like asking why one auto makers 2.5l engine doesn't get the exact same mileage as another manufacturers 2.5l engine.

more info:
ask-me-about-credit-scores-1099125/91/#post17076700
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Deal Addict
Feb 6, 2005
1654 posts
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Toronto
when I checked (and have subscription), it does seem like Equifax got updated alot more comparing to TransUnion.
Deal Addict
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Sep 1, 2013
1328 posts
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Mississauga
I recently checked both, and there's quite a difference between the two in my case. Transunion gives me a score of 757, while Equifax is 661. I don't yet have a mortgage and haven't needed a line of credit, so the only thing really making up my file are 3 credit cards; and both agencies have the exact same information for all of them. There's nothing really negative in there, except for two 30-day late payments on my RBC Visa (one in 2010, the other in 2008). I'm not sure how information so old could have much of an impact, especially the 2008 one which is only a year or so away from being purged (I'm considering sending a letter to RBC asking for a goodwill adjustment to get rid of them both, as I've been a customer with them since I was a kid and have a model payment history with them other than those 2 occurrences).

The only real difference I can see between the two reports is in the hard inquiries section. I've applied and received two new credit cards in the last 6 months (Chase Amazon.ca VISA and TD First Class VISA Infinite) and both Chase and TD hit up Equifax, while it's apparently been years since anyone went digging at Transunion for me. I've read Equifax is favoured by many institutions, so I'm not really surprised to see more hard inquires in there than on Transunion.

A little over a year ago, my Equifax score was 751. At that time I never checked my Transunion score, so it's possible it was higher as well. What I think was mostly responsible for the overall decrease was the two new credit cards, which obviously decreased the average age of my credit account history by a number of years, whereas prior to these two the RBC Visa (that I acquired in my last year of high school) was the only card on my file and about 11 years old. Hopefully the scores bounce back up after these two recent cards have a couple years of history; but in the long run I consider the temporary hit worth it for the amount of money the Chase card's saved me in forex fees alone (and I've only had it about 6 months so far).
[OP]
Newbie
Dec 2, 2011
9 posts
mikeymike1 wrote: Examine both bureaus data fields. If all reported tradelines are exact including dates, inquiries, personal data including current and prior data, then the score differences should be within 7-10% or less.
Both bureaus will never be exactly the same because each credit bureau's algorithms and metrics are calculated and treated differently. That's like asking why one auto makers 2.5l engine doesn't get the exact same mileage as another manufacturers 2.5l engine.

more info:
ask-me-about-credit-scores-1099125/91/#post17076700
Just like you said 7-10% less. 783 minus 10% brings me at 704 so that 10% buffer is right.

After going through both reports in detail I noticed that RBC and American Express showed up as an inquiry on my Transunion report and not my Equifax report...guess Amex and RBC still only pull from Transunion.

Thank you Mikeymike1. That was a very educational read. I did notice on my Transunion file that it has not updated my job for the last 5 years...that's way to long. Should I fill out a dispute form and send it over to Transunion? My Equifax report is perfect.
Deal Fanatic
Apr 16, 2007
8127 posts
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Financial District B…
matteocaputo wrote: Just like you said 7-10% less. 783 minus 10% brings me at 704 so that 10% buffer is right.

After going through both reports in detail I noticed that RBC and American Express showed up as an inquiry on my Transunion report and not my Equifax report...guess Amex and RBC still only pull from Transunion.

Thank you Mikeymike1. That was a very educational read. I did notice on my Transunion file that it has not updated my job for the last 5 years...that's way to long. Should I fill out a dispute form and send it over to Transunion? My Equifax report is perfect.
Well there you go. The two additional inquiries on your TU bureau will definitely lower its overall score value over the EQ score.

You do not need to file a dispute over employment discrepancies. Usually your personal data becomes updated when you apply for a credit product. Except in the instance of undefined or lazy data entry who skip fields and perform short cuts. (ie: I can pull someones bureau with just a SIN, complete name and address if I wanted to. If disclosed address has changed it would be updated while all other data would not)
You can update your employment description yourself by contacting TU and supplying the necessary info.
----------------------------Licensed Credit Bureau member, S1, FI Automotive, CCP forums most banned = x 13 and counting, guess who that is?... stomped to the curb once again
Newbie
Jun 3, 2013
72 posts
12 upvotes
mikeymike1 wrote: Well there you go. The two additional inquiries on your TU bureau will definitely lower its overall score value over the EQ score.

You do not need to file a dispute over employment discrepancies. Usually your personal data becomes updated when you apply for a credit product. Except in the instance of undefined or lazy data entry who skip fields and perform short cuts. (ie: I can pull someones bureau with just a SIN, complete name and address if I wanted to. If disclosed address has changed it would be updated while all other data would not)
You can update your employment description yourself by contacting TU and supplying the necessary info.
Are you serious? 2 additionnal inquiries could really have this huge impact (80 points difference) ? I tought 1 inquiries could only affect your score for 4-5 points in the worse case....
Deal Fanatic
Apr 16, 2007
8127 posts
3459 upvotes
Financial District B…
farmand wrote: Are you serious? 2 additionnal inquiries could really have this huge impact (80 points difference) ? I tought 1 inquiries could only affect your score for 4-5 points in the worse case....
You're assuming that both bureaus are equal when they are not. Read my post #5 again.
----------------------------Licensed Credit Bureau member, S1, FI Automotive, CCP forums most banned = x 13 and counting, guess who that is?... stomped to the curb once again
Deal Addict
Dec 7, 2011
2774 posts
1065 upvotes
Whitehorse
One of them even had a wrong address (!) for me (and it took the help of the federal Privacy Commissioner to get that sorted out), while the other one had the correct address. However, they never disclosed their source for the wrong address.
[OP]
Newbie
Dec 2, 2011
9 posts
mikeymike1 wrote: You're assuming that both bureaus are equal when they are not. Read my post #5 again.
So crazy to think that both bureaus work so differently. So when people on these forums talk about their score dropping 4-5 points for an inquiry, it's safe to assume that 99% of the time they are referring to the Equifax scoring system and not Transunion. Right?
Deal Fanatic
Apr 16, 2007
8127 posts
3459 upvotes
Financial District B…
matteocaputo wrote: So crazy to think that both bureaus work so differently. So when people on these forums talk about their score dropping 4-5 points for an inquiry, it's safe to assume that 99% of the time they are referring to the Equifax scoring system and not Transunion. Right?
No that assumption may be wrong. While the core scoring principles may differ in the percentages I mentioned the scoring of derog incidences(R2, R3, R4, I1, I2, I3 etc) and inquiries, payment cycle data, new account aging and all other parameters and metrics are very similar.
----------------------------Licensed Credit Bureau member, S1, FI Automotive, CCP forums most banned = x 13 and counting, guess who that is?... stomped to the curb once again

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