Car dealers don’t use traditional FICO scores when evaluating customers. For years, they have used a special kinds of credit scores, such as the FICO Auto Industry Option Score, tailored to their needs. That’s why the credit score you check online doesn’t usually match up with your score at the dealer financing desk. In fact, your credit scores can be significantly different.
These automotive credit scores haven’t been made available for consumer purchase until just recently. AutoCreditScores.com is selling an online package that includes your three FICO Auto Industry Scores along with a car buying booklet for $39.00.
The catch? These credit scores are not designed for direct-to-consumer sale and will be recorded on your credit report as a hard inquiry. Hard inquiries appear when you apply for new credit or loans, remain on your credit report for about two years and can lower your credit score slightly. When you check your standard consumer credit reports and credit scores online, the transaction is recorded as a non-damaging soft inquiry instead.
If you do want to check your FICO Auto Industry Scores, be sure to do it no more than 30-days before you plan to buy a car. This way, you can ensure that the credit score damage from the hard inquiry will not negatively impact your credit scores at the time of purchase.
Have you tried ordering from AutoCreditScores.com? Have you recently purchased a car? Share your feedback and questions in the comments section below.