black business people shaking hands

TransUnion® Vs. Equifax®: Which Score Matters More?

Victoria Araj6-Minute Read
UPDATED: October 30, 2023


The look of your credit score can be deceiving. If you’re worried you have a low credit score, it may have something to do with which credit reporting agency you’re using.

Two of the major credit bureaus are TransUnion® and Equifax®. While both collect and store your credit information, they do so in slightly different ways.

Let’s look at how TransUnion and Equifax calculate your credit score. We’ll also explain why you may see different results from the two credit bureaus.

What’s The Difference Between Equifax And TransUnion?

TransUnion and Equifax are two of the “big three” credit bureaus. The third credit reporting agency is ExperianTM. Ultimately, all three offer the same service. They collect and provide consumers’ credit information using personal information and public records. This includes generating a credit score that showcases your creditworthiness to potential lenders.

How they offer this service is where TransUnion and Equifax differ. Let’s take a look at some key information about each agency.


TransUnion was founded in 1968 and is based in Chicago, Illinois. TransUnion has free and paid service subscriptions. For $29.95 per month, it offers a consumer credit monitoring plan that includes services such as:

  • Unlimited score and report access: You can check your credit report and score, which TransUnion updates daily, as often as you like.
  • Credit locking: You can lock and unlock your credit reports from your computer or
  • Identity theft protection: You get instant alerts, up to $1 million in insurance and unlimited access to an identity theft
  • Personalized analysis: You can get personalized debt analysis and recommendations for improving your credit.

One of TransUnion’s free products is TrueIdentity. TrueIdentity includes unlimited credit report access, credit locking and instant alerts. However, it doesn't come with personalized debt analysis or identity theft specialist access. TrueIdentity also only provides up to $25,000 of identity theft insurance.


Equifax, founded in 1899 and headquartered in Atlanta, Georgia, offers three main plans:

  • Equifax Complete™: For $9.95 per month, this plan gives you daily access to your credit score and report. It also includes daily credit monitoring, alerting you of any changes in your score or report. In the event of identity theft, you get help from ID Restoration Specialists and up to $500,000 in insurance. You can also lock your credit report.
  • Equifax Complete Premier: At $19.95 per month, you get all of the Complete plan services, but with a three-bureau annual credit report and scores. You also receive three-bureau credit monitoring. This means TransUnion and Experian are also notified of any changes to your report. Additionally, you’re insured for up to $1 million for identity theft, and you can get a stolen funds replacement.
  • Equifax Complete Family: This plan costs $29.95 and offers the option to extend Complete Premier services to a second adult. You can also protect up to four children with the ability to lock their credit reports.

TransUnion Vs. Equifax: Calculating Your Credit Score

The two agencies also differ in how they calculate your credit score, typically resulting in a different credit score from each.

Credit Score Ranges

TransUnion uses the VantageScore® credit scoring model to calculate your credit score. This model ranges from 300 to 850. A “good” score may rest in the 661 – 720 range. Equifax, meanwhile, uses its own scoring model with a range of 280 – 850, with “good” being 670 – 739 and higher.

How Monitoring Services Calculate Your Score

TransUnion and Equifax may pull your credit information from similar sources.

Creditors are an important source of information for these agencies. These include credit card issuers, banks and lenders who may have lent you money in the past. These institutions report information on their borrowers to credit bureaus.

Credit bureaus can access your information from public records as well. Public records can include data like reports of bankruptcy or tax liens.

Still, the two weigh credit factors a little differently. Let’s take a look, per the TransUnion website:

TransUnion VantageScore Model

Payment history


Age and credit mix


Credit utilization


Account balances


New credit


Available credit


Since Equifax credit scores are meant to offer consumers an educated guess at their FICOScore, which lenders use to determine creditworthiness, the Equifax model more closely resembles the FICO® model.

FICO Scoring Model

Payment history


Account balances


Length of credit history


New credit


Credit mix


TransUnion Vs. Equifax: Why Your Scores May Differ

The main reason your TransUnion and Equifax scores may differ is their algorithms. Each credit bureau uses its own algorithm to compute your score.

Credit bureaus can also only work based on the information they receive. In some cases, creditors may not report the same data to each credit agency, or they may only report to one or two of them.

On the other hand, some credit bureaus may collect information that the others don’t. For example, Equifax often reports longer credit histories than TransUnion or Experian. Additionally, TransUnion may use your employment history to determine your creditworthiness. Equifax and Experian may only report the name of your employer.

Get In Touch With Us.

Our friendly Personal Loan Experts are here to help!

TransUnion Vs. Equifax: Which Credit Score Matters More?

No credit score is necessarily better or more accurate than the other. However, your credit score can make a difference when you’re trying to get a mortgage, auto loan or personal loan.

Lenders typically use your FICO® Score to gauge your creditworthiness. Compared to TransUnion’s algorithm, Equifax’s algorithm more closely resembles the FICO® model. Therefore, your Equifax score may better predict whether you’ll qualify for a loan.

Your Equifax score won’t be a tell-all, though. In some cases, lenders may look at your scores from all three credit bureaus and take the median score. If they only look at two of the three bureaus, they’ll likely take the lower of the two scores. If you’re co-borrowing a loan, lenders will take the lowest median of the two borrowers.

Since each credit bureau uses a different scoring algorithm, a “good” score may appear “fair” on another scale. When applying for a personal loan, make sure your lowest score qualifies you for good rates and terms. A good credit score for a personal loan would be 650 or higher to get favorable rates and terms.

Equifax Vs. TransUnion FAQs

Here are some frequently asked questions people ask about their TransUnion and Equifax scores.

Which score is more accurate?

Neither your TransUnion or Equifax score is more or less accurate than the other. They’re just calculated from slightly differing sources. Your Equifax credit score is likely lower due to reporting differences. Nonetheless, a “fair” score from TransUnion is typically “fair” across the board.

What should I do if my credit scores are different?

There’s little you can do to affect whether your score differs between bureaus. You can take action toward building your credit up and correcting errors, though. If you think your credit report has errors, you can file a dispute with the bureau you believe made the mistake.

What factors affect my credit score?

The following factors may affect how your credit score comes out:

  • Your payment history
  • Your amounts owed
  • The length of your credit history
  • How many credit lines you’re currently managing
  • Any new lines of credit you’ve applied for

When should I check my credit score?

You should check your credit score at least annually, if not even more often. Frequent credit score checks may help you catch discrepancies before they cause damage. By law, you can get up to three credit reports each year, one from each agency. However, each of the three credit bureaus is currently offering consumers a free credit report each week through December 2023.

Many financial institutions offer free credit score checks. These credit inquiries aren’t usually hard checks and shouldn’t damage your credit. However, free credit reports may not include information from all three bureaus.

Final Thoughts

Keeping track of your credit scores across three credit bureaus may seem confusing. However, varying scores aren’t necessarily a cause for concern.

Your TransUnion and Equifax credit scores may only differ because they’re calculated differently. You can dispute errors with your credit report or credit score by contacting each credit bureau directly. Even so, you really only control the factors that affect your score itself.

A good or excellent credit score can net you favorable rates and terms for the loan you want. To see what personal loan rates you may qualify for, get prequalified with Rocket LoansSM.

It's Time To Achieve More:

Discover a personalized approach to borrowing with Rocket Loans.

Victoria Araj

Victoria Araj is a Section Editor for Rocket Mortgage and held roles in mortgage banking, public relations and more in her 15+ years with the company. She holds a bachelor’s degree in journalism with an emphasis in political science from Michigan State University, and a master’s degree in public administration from the University of Michigan.