FICO scores, Nerd Wallet vs. Credit Karma

FICO scores, Nerd Wallet vs. Credit Karma
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I was wondering how different FICO scores are on Nerd-wallet vs. Credit Karma.

I would check myself but I cannot register for CK since I am not currently in the US. I’m guessing they are similar. Am I right?



Hi, Will! The score you receive from NerdWallet is one of your VantageScores. You have many, just as you have many FICO scores.

A quick bit of background: credit scores are kind of like computer operating systems. Just as there are different generations of Windows or Apple operating systems, there are different generations of scores. FICO 9 and VantageScore 3 are the latest generations.

Credit scores can also be tweaked for different industries. You might have an FICO Auto Score 9 and a Bankcard Score 9 as well.

Finally, your credit scores may differ somewhat depending on which credit bureau the data is drawn from, as well. So your Experian FICO 9 might be different from your TransUnion FICO 9. VantageScores, by contrast, tend to be pretty similar across the three bureaus. (That was one of their big selling points when the bureaus created the scoring formula several years ago.)

So, bottom line, your scores may differ depending on the formula, how it was tweaked, and which bureau the information came from. Also your credit scores change all the time depending on when the underlying information is updated at the credit bureaus and when the score is created. Some credit monitoring services update more frequently than others.

That was a LOT of background, actually! Please let us know if something doesn’t make sense or you have other questions.

Oh, and yes, negative information falls off generally 7 years and 180 days after the account first goes delinquent. Bankruptcies can take 10 years to fall off. Positive information can stay on indefinitely, although it’s usually gone at the 10 year point, if not sooner.


Hi Will! :wave:

NerdWallet members receive a free VantageScore, which is a scoring model similar to your FICO score (but not exactly the same). You can learn more about both types of scoring models here:

Please let us know if you have any questions on this! Happy to help :blush:


Yes, I get it. All 3 agencies, based on the 2 latest versions, may in fact all have different scores, but they should be within a range of let’s say 10-15 points.




So the score we receive from NerdWallet is our VantageScore, not our FICO score, correct?

If so, then my VS is always about 15 points higher than what Wells Fargo shows my FICO to be through Experian. Why is that and is that a good thing? Which do lenders and card card issuers look at? Which one would favor lower “age of accounts”?

Also please confirm that only information from the past 7 to 10 years is what makes up our scores. What I mean is if for example, one had a 30 day late, or a change off, or an auto repression from 15 years ago it would not have any impact of scores today, nor could a lender ever see those hiccups.



The gaps can be a lot wider than that, unfortunately.

Here’s one example. More recent versions of the scores either ignore certain kinds of collections or downplay them. But the FICO scores that mortgage lenders use are several generations old, and can punish people more heavily for collections.

Also, some of the scores are in different ranges. The auto and bankcard scores, for example, are on a 250 to 900 scale, whereas most other scores are 300 to 850.

The various free scores you get can help you monitor your credit and get a general idea where you stand with lenders. If you want a more precise view, you need to ask the lender which scoring formula or formulas they use. If they’re versions of FICOs that you aren’t getting for free somewhere, you might have to buy them from


Wow! Confusing indeed.

I’m glad that I have only 2 credit cards on my reports and zero debt. It simplifies it all for me as it relates to my upcoming mortgage application.