Quicken Credit Score - Comparing Apples to Apples
In all the previous discussions about Quicken’s credit score being grossly inaccurate, no one has said anything about what credit score(s) they are referencing when comparing to Quicken’s displayed credit score. Those discussions have all been closed with no real resolution or explanation for the perceived “problem(s)”.
I too thought Quicken was consistently displaying an inaccurate credit score for me whenever I updated my credit score in Quicken and I pretty much ignored Quicken's credit score as just that – completely inaccurate! The credit score Quicken displayed was always significantly lower than my other credit score sources (my bank, my AMEX card, my Experian account). Recently, after downloading another "inaccurate" credit score in Quicken, I sought to find out why there is such a difference between Quicken's credit score and my other sources of credit scores, thinking an issue must exist between Quicken and Equifax (Quicken's credit score source).
During my research, I noticed that Quicken’s credit score source is the VantageScore 3.0, provided by Equifax. My other sources for viewing my credit scores all use FICO scores. When I view my credit score, Experian shows my FICO Score 8, my bank shows my FICO Score 9, and AMEX shows my FICO Score 8. Experian also shows my FICO Score 2 and FICO Score 3. What does all this mean?
FICO and VantageScore are the two credit scoring authorities, with FICO being the most widely used. Within FICO and VantageScore, there are different models for computing different scores, which results in various FICO scores and various VantageScores. Some scores are used for determining credit card lending while others are used for mortgage lending and auto loan lending. For a detailed explanation, use your browser's search engine to research "FICO Score vs VantageScore".
As I said, other than Quicken, my credit score sources all display my FICO Scores. However, when I compare my FICO Score 3 (mostly used for credit card lending) to Quicken's VantageScore 3 (also used for credit card lending), those scores are more closely aligned. Comparing my FICO Score 8 or 9 to Quicken’s VantageScore 3.0, there is a significant difference. That being said, one has to wonder why Quicken chooses to use VantageScores when the overwhelming majority of institutions rely on FICO scores?
Bottom line, if you are comparing Quicken's VantageScore 3.0 to your FICO score(s) from another source, expect that there will probably be significant differences between the two with the VantageScore 3.0 being lower than your FICO Score 8 or FICO Score 9 (and even other VantageScores). Keep in mind also that there may be slight variations in credit score values between multiple credit score sources due to the date that score was taken/updated - not all sources update their particular credit scores daily or at the same time.
One last issue which was also discussed in previously closed discussions and which causes great consternation among those who care is the extremely high values displayed for Credit Card Debt and Credit Card Limit, which is also shown as part of Quicken's VantageScore 3.0 credit score display. The value, which Quicken labels as Credit Card Debt, is actually the TOTAL OF ALL CREDIT DEBT (credit cards, credit lines, auto loans, auto leases, real estate loans) and it comes directly from Equifax. When I viewed my FICO Score 3 in Experian, it gives the exact same value that Quicken displays as Credit Card Debt. However, Experian labels it as Total Debt with a breakdown of the $ amount in each category (credit cards, loans, etc.). Quicken needs to rephrase its terms (Credit Card Debt and Credit Card Limit) in its credit score window to Total Debt and Total Debt Limit, which is actually what is being shown. That would certainly clear up the confusion on this topic.
It appears the issue most people have with Quicken's display of their credit score is not understanding which score is being displayed in Quicken when comparing it to other sources of their credit score - they may not be comparing "apples to apples". Quicken should include a FAQ link on their credit score window to further explain in more detail what's being displayed in Quicken's credit score and why it may vary from other credit score sources (FICO vs VantageScore and the various scores within each).
And the fact that Quicken mislabels and shows the Total Debt and Total Debt Limit as Credit Card Debt and Credit Card Limit needs to be fixed by Quicken in a future update to accurately describe the values being shown.