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FICO on my Discover statement vs Credit Karma, why the huge disparity between the two sites in score
My FICO on my Discover Card statement is 80 points higher than my lowest score here and there is a thirty point difference between these two scores! Are the scores on here my FICO score and if so what gives? i' a little disillusioned as I've been using Credit Karma for a while but this is a significant difference between all 3!

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TransUnion for Discover, not Experian.

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I am a Discover Card member and my account shows me a TransUnion score...not Experian.  I have read several articles, including "bmoneyman" response here, that say Discover uses Experian, but that is not the case for me:

Directly from my Discover Card FICO Score page:


Why is my FICO® Credit Score important?

Nearly all lenders in the U.S., including Discover, have been using FICO® Scores for over 20 years as the industry standard for determining credit worthiness. Discover provides your FICO® Score from TransUnion on your account statements so you can stay on top of your credit and avoid surprises. You can also view your scores and key factors within the last 12 months on our website and mobile app."

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I have the free account, I don't have their credit card. The bottom of my page says Experian. My credit union gave me a score 40 points higher for Experian than Discover did. So I actually came to see if Discover's FICO score was even legit lol. Otherwise, my credit randomly jumped 40 points in 2 weeks while my other scores did not.

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Different scoring models

Helpful to 7 out of 10 people

There are dozens (or hundreds) of different credit scoring models out there and they all calculate scores based on inclusion or exclusion of specific information, as well as how that specific information is weighted.  There are three different credit bureaus and there are different versions of the scoring models they use as well.

Discover shows you a FICO (Fair Isaac Company) score from Transunion on your statement.  Credit Karma is showing you a VantageScore (version 3.0) from Transunion and Equifax (you won't find Experian scores here).  FICO scores and VantageScores are not the same thing (different scoring models).  Each of the three credit bureaus also has their own method for calculating scores (different "flavor") even if the scores use the same name.  So a Transunion VantageScore can certainly be different from an Equifax VantageScore.

Frustrating, yes...but the actual score numbers are less important than being informed about your credit (whether it's currently in a good or bad place), and being able to identify trends over time (whether it's improving or declining or staying about the same).  If you're going to apply for new credit soon (credit card, bank loan, car loan, mortgage) the numbers will obviously be a lot more important to you right now.  Standard disclaimer: your mileage may vary.  Not everyones' experiences are the same.

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You are correct about Credit Karma using TransUnion & Equifax, HOWEVER, Discover uses EXPERIAN (the 3rd of the 3 credit reporting agencies) to calculate your FICO score

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As far as I know Discover uses TransUnion:

"Important Information:

  • Your FICO® Credit Score is based on your TransUnion credit report using the FICO® Score 8.
  • If you are a new cardmember with less than 12 months of account history with Discover, your FICO® Credit Score history will start with the first month your account was opened."

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