Posted by William Charles on December 11, 2013
Credit Scores

Published on December 11th, 2013 | by William Charles

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FICO Score Vs Experian National Equivalency Score

fico score vs Experian National Equivalency Score

This is the fourth part of our credit score comparison series week oneFICO Vs PLUSweek twoFICO Vs VantageScore, week three: FICO Vs CE score). This week we are going to look the FICO score and Experian’s National Equivalency Score which is offered for free by Credit Sesame.

Comparison Table

 FICO ScoreExperian National Equivalency Score
Minimum Score300360
Maximum Score850840
Median Score723N/A
CRA’s the score is based onEX, EQ & TUEX
Available to IndividualsYesYes
Acessible for FreeYesYes
Used by LendersYesYes
Scoring Criteria
Payment History35.00%35.00%
Credit Utilization30.00%30.00%
Length of Credit History15.00%15.00%
Types of Credit used10.00%10.00%
Recent Searches for New Credit10.00%10.00%


As you can see the scoring criteria are exactly the same for the two scores. This is not technically 100% true, Experian & Credit Sesame have never actually publicly stated the scoring criteria for the Equivalency score. They’ve only stated that it tries to emulate FICO, so we’ve assumed that their criteria would be the same.

The scores do have a scoring range difference, with the equivalency score having a slightly higher minimum score (360 vs FICO’s 350) and a slightly lower maximum score (840 vs FICO’s 840). Both scores are available to lenders, although the equivalency isn’t used by any creditors currently and FICO is used in 90% of lending decisions.

The equivalency score is available for free from Credit Sesame and this score is automatically updated monthly, they also provide you with a summary of your Experian report. FICO score’s are also available for free but take a bit more work to get them, here is a complete list of ways to get yours.

How Do The Scores Compare?

As the name suggests the Experian National Equivalency Score is based on data found in the Experian credit report so I pulled my Experian (04) score from myFICO for $15.95 using a promo code to get my FICO score. I then signed up to Credit Sesame to get my Equivalency score.

 FICOEquivalency Score
My Score821833


I’m pretty proud of my Equivalency score, being only 7 points below the maximum. The fact that lenders don’t use the score does lessen how proud I am though, I’d much rather my FICO was higher.

Personally I see little point in tracking your Equivalency score or signing up for Credit Sesame. Although as Credit Sesame is free to join and no monthly fees, there is very little reason to not give it a go.

I’d personally just stick to checking your FICO score when you’re about to apply for a loan and being signed up to Credit Karma (for VantageScore which some lenders do look at) and Quizzle (they also provide V3 of VantageScore, and an extra two credit reports can be useful if you’re engaging in credit repair).



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David McInnis

I haven’t purchased any credit reports from EX, EQ or TU, but I signed up at credit.com and received an Experian National Equivalency Score of 763, which the website tells me is almost in the middle of the Excellent range. On creditkarma.com, which uses the VantageScore, I’m rated at 601, which the site tells me is at the low end of the Poor range. I have no intention of seeking credit anytime in the near future, but I am curious as to which of these ratings I should be inclined to believe. Based on these numbers and the scales used in each method, is my credit pretty damn good, completely pitiful or somewhere in between?

David – I found a very similar range on mine, comparing creditreport.com and credit.com, both of which claim to be based on Experian. How the heck am I supposed to know where I stand when I’m getting different answers even within the same bureau! :/ This is very frustrating and it feels like I’m paying good money for random numbers.

Paris Merriam

credit.com offers both scores monthly for free (you need to click on see expanded view to see the other score). Since credit.com and Credit Karma may be using different bureaus for your data, try getting both scores for free from credit.com instead. I do believe the author of this article in that you really should also check your real FICO scores from myfico.com from time to time.

Paris Merriam

There are some serious flaws in this article. Here’s what they state: The scores do have a scoring range difference, with the equivalency score having a slightly higher minimum score (360 vs FICO’s 350) and a slightly lower maximum score (840 vs. FICO’s 840). Both scores are available to lenders, although the equivalency isn’t used by any creditors currently and FICO is used in 90% of lending decisions. Yet their comparison table shows this:
Minimum Score FICO 300 Experian National Equivalency 360
Maximum Score FICO 850 Experian National Equivalency 840
Overall, informative article, but they need to be more careful in their text to make sure it matches their comparison tables.

[…] FICO Score Vs Experian National … – FICO Score: Experian National Equivalency Score: Minimum Score: 300: 360: Maximum Score: 850: 840: Median Score: 723: N/A: CRA’s the score is based on … […]

The websites mentioned seem to switch their score/bureau every so often, so as this article is from 2013, a quick update as to what is going on. Credit.com currently show Experian National equivalency and Experian Vantage 3.0. Karma give both Transunion and Equifax Vantage 3.0. Across the board the Vantages are nearly the same (make sure the report dates line up). The National Equivalency seems to skew 20ish points higher (after having watched them all for a couple of months).

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