Equifax vs TransUnion: Why is my Equifax and TransUnion score different | KOHO (2023)

Equifax and TransUnion are the two major consumer credit bureaus in Canada responsible for credit scores. Why should you care about them? Because in some ways, they hold your financial future in their hands.

When you apply for any major financial product – like a personal loan, credit card, or mortgage – lenders will ask the credit bureaus for your score, which helps them determine if they want to lend money to you. A lot rests on the strength of your credit score.

Equifax and TransUnion each calculate your credit score slightly differently. If you’ve ever checked your own credit score, and compared your scores from both credit bureaus, you might wonder why they differ from one to the other. Your Equifax score might be higher than your TransUnion score, or vice versa.

So, why are your Equifax and TransUnion scores different? Is one score more relevant than the other? What goes into their calculations? Read on to find out.

A quick primer on credit scores

Your credit score is a three-digit number between 300-900 that represents your credit history – basically, your credit score ranks how good you are at borrowing and paying back money over time.

(Video) Why Equifax, Experian, and Transunion Have Different Scores

Obviously, you want a great credit score. The higher, the better. A strong credit score gives you the best access to mortgages, loans, and credit cards, among other things. Your credit score is largely what lenders rely on when deciding if they should lend you money.

A poor score means you’re not good with lenders’ money and are unreliable with repayments. A strong score, on the other hand, means you can be trusted to borrow money and pay it back in a timely manner.

In Canada, your credit score is considered poor to fair in the 300-659 range, considered good to very good between 660-759, and is regarded as excellent between 760-900.

Why are Equifax and TransUnion scores different?

Credit bureaus do more or less the same things. They take public and reported records to generate a picture of your financial reliability, illustrated as a three-digit score. This is recorded and updated regularly, so lenders have an accurate guide to determine how much of a risk you pose as a borrower.

While Equifax and TransUnion do essentially the same thing, there are some nuances between the two that can account for score discrepancies.


Each bureau has a custom algorithm they use to calculate your score, which can produce different results. While all credit scores are based on the same criteria, the models used to record and weigh those criteria work out the numbers slightly differently.

(Video) What is the difference between TransUnion and Equifax?

Date range

Equifax uses data dating back 81 months (almost seven years of your financial history), while TransUnion’s model takes into account just your past 24 months (two years).


Equifax and TransUnion scores can only be as accurate as the information they receive. Some lenders only report to one credit bureau, while other lenders report to both. And even if a lender reports your credit information to both bureaus, they may do so on different dates, meaning your credit score could be up-to-date with one bureau and out-of-date with the other bureau when you check your scores.

Equifax vs TransUnion: which is most accurate?

Which is both accurate? Neither credit bureau score is more accurate or more valuable than the other. They’re just different.

Some lenders might lean towards using one bureau over the other, but that doesn’t mean a particular bureau is better than the other, it could just be lender preference. Some lenders check with both credit bureaus to make their determination of your credit worthiness.

How to check your own credit scores?

If you want to access your credit score directly from one of the credit bureaus, you may need to pay a fee around $20. (However, if you live in Quebec, you can check your TransUnion score directly from the bureau for free.)

Fortunately, there are other ways you can source the information accurately – for free.

(Video) Credit Score vs Credit Report: What's the Difference | Fico, Experian, Transunion, Equifax & Vantage

Online fintec companies Borrowell, Credit Karma, and Mogo all offer free access to your credit scores. Borrowell and Mogo provide Equifax scores, while Credit Karma provides scores using something called the VantageScore 3.0 model (a model created in collaboration between credit bureaus).

Many Canadian banks also offer free credit score checks to their banking customers, often provided through their online app.

Which criteria matter the most for your credit score?

The credit bureaus may calculate their scores slightly differently, using different proprietary algorithms, but the criteria they consider is largely the same.

Though Equifax and TransUnion weigh these criteria differently, they’re similar. This is what they look at and how important each factor is within your overall credit score:

Payment history

Your payment history makes up about one-third of the weighting in your credit score. This considers how well or badly you pay back your credit debts on accounts such as mortgages, credit cards, auto loans, lines of credit, student loans, and others. Credit scoring models consider how often you make payments on time versus late, how late your payments were, and how recently and how often you miss payments.

Amount owed

This factor similarly makes up about one-third of your score. This is about how much money you owe to lenders, your current debt-to-credit ratio, and your credit utilization ratio. Your credit utilization ratio is a mark of how much credit you owe versus how much credit is available to you. For example, credit bureaus prefer your credit utilization to be below 35% – this means if you had a credit card with a $1000 limit, you should attempt to keep your owed balance around $350 or less.


Length of credit history

The longer you use credit responsibility, the better your score will be. Lenders like to be able to see that you’ve built a history of borrowing and repaying money, to know that you’re safe to lend to. This is why Canadian newcomers start out with low credit scores.

Credit mix

The number and types of credit accounts you have can impact your score. Better scores usually feature a mix of borrowing types, such as credit cards, loans, mortgages, and lines of credit.

New applications

Each time you seek a new form of credit – applying for a new credit card, a loan, or a line of credit, for example – your credit score might take a hit. When you apply for new credit, the lender will submit an enquiry to the credit bureaus to check on your credit worthiness. These are known as “hard enquiries” and can be interpreted as a sign of financial trouble. If you have many hard enquiries within a short time frame, lenders may assume you pose a lending risk.

How to improve your credit score

If you need to improve your credit score, the good news is you can. You can improve your score by paying down your debt, paying your bills in full by their due date, utilizing less than 35% of your available credit, building history by sticking with your credit cards rather than switching, and by not applying for too much new credit in a short time period.

There are also companies that can help you. And, hey, KOHO just happens to be one of them.

KOHO Credit Building

With KOHO’s Credit Building tool, you can improve your credit score pretty quickly. How it works: with the KOHO Credit Building tool, you open a no-interest line of credit and then you just need to make small repayments every month. You can build your credit score in just six months, by keeping up with regular on-time payments. It’s as simple as that.

(Video) FICO Score vs Credit Score vs Credit Karma (Why Are My Credit Scores So Different?)


Which credit score is more accurate TransUnion or Equifax? ›

Is TransUnion or Equifax more accurate? If you have a 100-point difference between your TransUnion and Equifax credit scores, you might be wondering which is more accurate. In reality, both scores are equally accurate as they have their own scoring system.

Why do I have 2 different credit scores? ›

Your credit scores may vary according to the credit scoring model used, and may also vary based on which credit bureau furnishes the credit report used for the data. That's because not all lenders and creditors report to all three nationwide credit bureaus. Some may report to only two, one or none at all.

Do lenders look at TransUnion or Equifax? ›

An Equifax credit score isn't used by lenders or creditors to assess a consumers' creditworthiness. Instead, many lenders use FICO Scores® to help determine a potential borrower's creditworthiness. FICO uses credit scores from the three reporting agencies, including Equifax and Transunion, to determine their score.

Which credit score is the most accurate? ›

Simply put, there is no “more accurate” score when it comes down to receiving your score from the major credit bureaus. In this article, you will learn: Different types of credit scores.

Why is TransUnion always higher than Equifax? ›

The reason that this score is lower than your TransUnion score is based on the fact that TransUnion adds personal information and employment data that is weighted into their model. The other two only report the name of your employer and do not add any weight to that fact.

Which lenders use Equifax only? ›

PenFed Credit Union is the only loan company that uses only your Equifax credit data. In most cases, you won't be able to determine beforehand which credit bureaus your lender will use.

Why is there a 100 point difference between TransUnion and Equifax? ›

If you have an installment loan that reports only to Experian, your Experian credit score may be very different Equifax and TransUnion. Delinquencies reported on a loan reported on one credit report, but not the others, is the most common reason why you'll see wide credit score discrepancies, like 100 points.

Why do I have two different credit scores from TransUnion? ›

Because there are varied scoring models, you'll likely have different scores from different providers. Lenders use many different types of credit scores to make lending decisions. The score you see when you check it may not be the same as the one used by your lender.

Which is better FICO or TransUnion? ›

The Three Bureaus and FICO

For example, an apartment manager who checks your credit may only look at Experian while a credit card company might only look at TransUnion. FICO was developed as an alternative to these bureaus. Many lenders prefer FICO because it paints a more holistic picture of the potential borrower.

What is an excellent TransUnion score? ›

A very poor credit score is in the range of 300 – 600, with 601 – 660 considered to be poor. A score of 661 – 720 is fair. And an excellent score is in the range of 781 – 850.

What is a good credit score for Equifax? ›

Although ranges vary depending on the credit scoring model, generally credit scores from 580 to 669 are considered fair; 670 to 739 are considered good; 740 to 799 are considered very good; and 800 and up are considered excellent.

Which lenders use TransUnion only? ›

However, any of these options could be a good choice if you're looking for a card that pulls from TransUnion only.
  • Citi Premier® Card. ...
  • Chase Freedom Flex℠ ...
  • Chase Sapphire Reserve® ...
  • Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card. ...
  • Capital One Quicksilver Cash Rewards Credit Card. ...
  • Delta SkyMiles® Gold Business American Express Card.

Which of the 3 credit scores is usually the highest? ›

Key Takeaways
  • An 850 credit score is considered the highest score according to the most common FICO and VantageScore credit models.
  • There are several factors that go into determining a credit score, such as payment history, amounts owed, length of credit history, credit inquiries and credit mix.
Sep 27, 2022

Why is Credit Karma so off? ›

If your Credit Karma score isn't accurate, the problem is probably elsewhere. That is, one of the bureaus made an error or omitted information. Or, the information might have been reported to one bureau but not others.

Which of the 3 credit scores is most important? ›

FICO® Scores are used by 90% of top lenders, but even so, there's no single credit score or scoring system that's most important. In a very real way, the score that matters most is the one used by the lender willing to offer you the best lending terms.

Why is my Equifax 70 points higher than TransUnion? ›

The main reason your TransUnion and Equifax scores may look different from one another is that the companies use different algorithms to compute your score.

How accurate is Equifax on Credit Karma? ›

Here's the short answer: The credit scores and reports you see on Credit Karma come directly from TransUnion and Equifax, two of the three major consumer credit bureaus. The credit scores and reports you see on Credit Karma should accurately reflect your credit information as reported by those bureaus.

Which credit bureau do most lenders use? ›

Although Experian is the largest credit bureau in the U.S., TransUnion and Equifax are widely considered to be just as accurate and important. When it comes to credit scores, however, there is a clear winner: FICO® Score is used in 90% of lending decisions.

Do banks look at Experian or Equifax? ›

Do Lenders Use Experian or Equifax? Some lenders use both Experian and Equifax – others only use one of the two or TransUnion. Check with lenders and creditors to ask about where they pull credit reports and scores from before you apply.

Which banks consider Equifax? ›

Equifax is a joint venture between Equifax Inc., USA and seven leading Indian financial institutions - State Bank of India, Bank of Baroda, Bank of India, Kotak Mahindra Prime Limited, Religare Finvest Limited, Sundaram Finance Limited and Union Bank of India.

What credit score does a car dealership use? ›

FICO® credit scores are the auto industry standard for determining a potential buyer's creditworthiness. Using a variety of factors, the company will give you a three digit score ranging from 300 (lowest possible) to 850 (highest possible).

Is TransUnion credit score accurate? ›

TransUnion, Experian and Equifax all have high standards in terms of achieving accuracy in their reporting.

Why is my FICO score 100 points lower than TransUnion and Equifax? ›

When the scores are significantly different across bureaus, it is likely the underlying data in the credit bureaus is different and thus driving that observed score difference.

What credit score is good for buying a house? ›

It's recommended you have a credit score of 620 or higher when you apply for a conventional loan. If your score is below 620, lenders either won't be able to approve your loan or may be required to offer you a higher interest rate, which can result in higher monthly payments.

Why are all 3 of my credit scores different? ›

This is because individual consumer reporting agencies, credit scoring companies, lenders and creditors may use slightly different formulas to calculate your credit scores. They might also weigh your information differently depending on the type of credit account for which you've applied.

How far off is Credit Karma? ›

But how accurate is Credit Karma? In some cases, as seen in an example below, Credit Karma may be off by 20 to 25 points.

Is FICO score the same as TransUnion and Equifax? ›

The Bottom Line. FICO provides a single-number credit score, while major credit bureaus like Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion (not covered in this article) offer a more detailed look at an individual's credit history along with the score.

Is TransUnion the most important credit score? ›

A: As a general matter, no one credit bureau report is “more important” than the others. In today's economic environment, they are all vitally critical to your personal finances.

How to raise TransUnion score? ›

Here are 10 ways to increase your credit score by 100 points - most often this can be done within 45 days.
  1. Check your credit report. ...
  2. Pay your bills on time. ...
  3. Pay off any collections. ...
  4. Get caught up on past-due bills. ...
  5. Keep balances low on your credit cards. ...
  6. Pay off debt rather than continually transferring it.

What is a FICO score of 8? ›

FICO 8 scores range between 300 and 850. A FICO score of at least 700 is considered a good score. There are also industry-specific versions of credit scores that businesses use. For example, the FICO Bankcard Score 8 is the most widely used score when you apply for a new credit card or a credit-limit increase.

Is it better to make two payments a month on a credit card? ›

Reducing the interest you pay

If you typically carry a balance on your credit card from one month to the next, then making multiple payments during each billing cycle can reduce your interest charges overall. That's because interest accrues based on your average daily balance during the billing period.

Who gets an 850 credit score? ›

While achieving a perfect 850 credit score is rare, it's not impossible. About 1.3% of consumers have one, according to Experian's latest data. FICO scores can range anywhere from 300 to 850. The average score was 714, as of 2021.

What raises credit score? ›

One of the best things you can do to improve your credit score is to pay your debts on time and in full whenever possible. Payment history makes up a significant chunk of your credit score, so it's important to avoid late payments.

Does Credit Karma only show TransUnion? ›

On Credit Karma you'll see scores and reports from TransUnion and Equifax, both using the VantageScore 3.0 scoring model. VantageScore was created in collaboration with all three credit bureaus, and VantageScore 3.0 is relied on by lenders across a variety of industries.

Do banks use Experian or TransUnion? ›

In any case, the card issuer can pull your credit report with any of the three major credit bureaus — or even all of them. This means that your credit report could come from Equifax, Experian and TransUnion or any combination of these bureaus.

Which report is better Equifax Experian or TransUnion? ›

Of the three main credit bureaus (Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion), none is considered better than the others. A lender may rely on a report from one bureau or all three bureaus to make its decisions about approving your loan.

How much lower is Equifax score than TransUnion? ›

There are many reasons why the numbers between Equifax and Transunion may differ so much. One of which is that they use different algorithms to calculate your credit score. Even then with the different algorithms, the variance between the two scores should be between 7-10% or even less.

What is a perfect TransUnion credit score? ›

Understanding credit score ranges

A score of 661 – 720 is fair. And an excellent score is in the range of 781 – 850. Think of these rankings and ranges as guides, not hard-and-fast rules for what good credit is. Some people want to achieve a score of 850, the highest credit score possible.

Do lenders use TransUnion score? ›

While the FICO® 8 model is the most widely used scoring model for general lending decisions, banks use the following FICO scores when you apply for a mortgage: FICO® Score 2 (Experian) FICO® Score 5 (Equifax) FICO® Score 4 (TransUnion)

What is a good Equifax score? ›

Although ranges vary depending on the credit scoring model, generally credit scores from 580 to 669 are considered fair; 670 to 739 are considered good; 740 to 799 are considered very good; and 800 and up are considered excellent.

What lenders use TransUnion only? ›

However, any of these options could be a good choice if you're looking for a card that pulls from TransUnion only.
  • Citi Premier® Card. ...
  • Chase Freedom Flex℠ ...
  • Chase Sapphire Reserve® ...
  • Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card. ...
  • Capital One Quicksilver Cash Rewards Credit Card. ...
  • Delta SkyMiles® Gold Business American Express Card.

How far off is Credit Karma from FICO? ›

Your Credit Karma score should be the same or close to your FICO score, which is what any prospective lender will probably check. The range of your credit score (such as "good" or "very good") is more important than the precise number, which will vary by source and edge up or down often.

Which credit score matters when buying a car? ›

The FICO score is the most widely used score for auto loans. The score ranges from 300 to 850. The score is calculated based on credit mix, payment history, amount owed, average credit history and available credit.

Which credit score matters when buying a house? ›

One of the most common scores used by mortgage lenders to determine creditworthiness is the FICO® Score (created by the Fair Isaac Corporation). FICO® Scores help lenders calculate the interest rates and fees you'll pay to get your mortgage.

Which credit bureau is most important when buying a car? ›

What Credit Bureau Do Car Dealers Use? Auto dealerships use the FICO credit bureau, which stands for Fair Isaac Corporation. They also use the FICO Auto Credit Score, which has a range of 250 to 900.

Which credit score is more important FICO or TransUnion? ›

FICO scoring is more holistic, which allows more Americans to qualify for loans and mortgages than most traditional bureaus' scores.


1. Which credit bureau has the highest score? Lowest credit scores? Equifax? TransUnion? Experian?
(ProudMoney - Credit Cards & Personal Finance)
2. Which Credit Report is More Important: Equifax, Experian or TransUnion
(Lynnette Khalfani-Cox)
3. Equifax, TransUnion, Credit Karma, Borrowell: Should you trust your credit score? (Marketplace)
(CBC News)
4. Difference Between Equifax and TransUnion
5. Why Your Equifax Credit Score Is Lower Than Transunion
(Pacific Debt Relief)
6. Daraine Delevante @darainedelevante | OMNI LIVE
(Daraine Delevante)


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