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I'd like to obtain my FICO score. By what means can I obtain that? I am willing to consider methods that require me to pay for it.

I am aware that I can use CreditKarma to look at TransUnion and Equifax scores. My understanding is that those scores are not FICO scores. Is that correct? If they are indeed FICO scores, I guess my search is over.

Otherwise, what is a way to obtain my FICO score? I looked at the Experian website and it appears that they have a way to access the FICO score, but according to what I read on the Internet, including money.SE, they make you sign up for services in order to get the score. I would like to avoid that -- I'm willing to pay up front for the score, but not willing to sign up for services in order to get it.

I am aware of what a credit report is and what a credit score is, so I would like to focus specifically on how to obtain the FICO score.

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    FICO the organization has north of a dozen different models so you realistically have north of a dozen potentially different FICO scores (see, for example, investopedia.com/…) Do you know which model's score you want? Several of my credit cards and financial institutions give me one of my FICO scores every month. I doubt they're using the same model that, say, my mortgage lender used but it's probably reasonably close. Jul 17, 2023 at 2:20
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    This sort of sounds like it might be an XY problem; why do you want or need this particular information?
    – yoozer8
    Jul 17, 2023 at 2:27
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    @yoozer8 I've been informed by a lender that the scores shown on CreditKarma are not what they use to determine credit worthiness because they are not FICO scores. This makes me think I need to specifically look for a FICO score. Jul 17, 2023 at 3:08
  • @JustinCave Yes, there are various scores defined by FICO, so potentially several bona fide FICO scores. I guess at this point I would be happy to know any of them. I also guess that the very most relevant score is whatever a lender is actually looking at, and that may vary from lender to lender. I wonder if it's reasonable to ask a lender which score they use, and then look for that specifically. Jul 17, 2023 at 3:10
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    @RobertDodier - If your lender has done a credit pull, they should be able to tell you the FICO score they're looking at. They may or may not be able to tell you which of the FICO models their system is requesting. If you're denied a loan, the lender is obligated to share the information they used to deny the loan with you. If this is a mortgage lender, they're going to request credit scores from all the credit bureaus and take the middle score. Jul 17, 2023 at 5:03

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Generally every credit reporting agency has a free subscription service where you can view some version of their scores. Many banks and credit cards also provide that as a perk. Paid tiers may have all three scores in one place for you. These may or may not be FICO scores, these may also be some other models.

FICO scores are proprietary and there are several different models. As mentioned in the comments, lenders must tell you what information they used to decide about your application, including the score they used and where it came from. You cannot, on your own, have an access to FICO models directly AFAIK, they do not have a consumer portal.

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Every agency and their cat has a "vaguely FICO-like score" with score numbers in the 300-900 range. It's easy enough to copy; just make up a formula that scores people to a number that's within 50 or so of a FICO score, and describe in words that don't claim it's a FICO score, and hope they can trick people into thinking that scoring system is standard, public, open-sourced or generic. It's not.

Only a few actually brand this number as a FICO(tm) score. That's the real deal, assuming FICO's legal team isn't in a coma. That is their franchise.

I generally find the pretender scores to be somewhat higher numerically than a FICO score. Feels good when you run it, but a false promise.

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